How the training by NewsBridge Africa transformed my journalism

Theodora Aidoo

There is a proliferation of media organisations in Ghana, but there is evidence of lack of professionalism especially in this era of fake news. It doesn’t take too much effort to spot the lack of due diligence fact-checking news. Much of what is published is not cross-checked.

Meanwhile, Journalists around the world, get opportunities to participate in a variety of training programmes offered by their employers, to enhance their skills through formal educational institutions, or by independent training organizations such as NewsBridge Africa.

Despite the prominence of these training programmes for working journalists in Ghana, just few journalists are able to take advantage of the opportunities. I was glad I did.

I count myself lucky, to have participated in a two-day media training organized by NewsBridge Africa for journalists in Kumasi. The opportunity to learn from the three great facilitators was insightful.

Some 20 journalists showed up for the training, and for me, the benefits of that training went beyond the confines of the conference room where it was held. The training prepared me, and I got an opportunity to learn to enhance my career, an experience I will cherish for a very long time to come.

Until this training, I have never had a practical encounter with the need to double-check and verify my sources or information before publishing.

In two days I learned things I had not learned in years of sitting in classrooms at two prestigious journalism institutes in Nigeria and Ghana simultaneously.

I learned reverse image search, using secure emails for your investigative works and how such emails can self-destruct without a trace.

Mr. Emmanuel K. Dogbevi, the founder of NewsBridge Africa and the Lead Facilitator, stated that journalism is facts. He emphasized the need to verify and double-check facts and ensure we are reporting nothing short of verified information.

Cecil Ato Kwamena Dadzie on the other hand took the participants through the use of social media for effective journalism and all necessary tools needed to improve our work online.

Mr. Francis Kokutse took us through practical writing sessions and shared from his wealth of experience.

My participation in the training programme made me resolve to be highly motivated and to perform differently at work. It helped me to gain stature in news writing and investigation, and has improved performance of the news production in my newsroom.

In two days I learned things I had not learned in years of sitting in classrooms at two prestigious journalism institutes in Nigeria and Ghana simultaneously.

I learned the importance of networking and collaborating with fellow journalists and I then decided to follow the three facilitators online, especially on Facebook.

I read most of their posts daily and followed their works and activities online with keen interest.

One day, I came by a fellowship programme solely for female reporters shared by the Mr. Dogbevi in which he had tagged me along with other female participants. I liked the post and quietly applied.

A week later I got a mail confirming my acceptance into the fellowship programme as the only foreigner accepted into the programme for the first time.

As a result, I am a proud 2018 Fellow of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism ‘Female Reporters Leadership programme’ and it all started with my exposure and experience with NewsBridge Africa.

By Theodora Aidoo

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