Article By : Abdul Sammed Moro, Intern
‘Journalism is not a profession’ is a statement we do hear often which comes as no surprise because of certain attitudes of personalities out there but I beg to differ because a profession involves ethics, values, codes and principles and journalism is no exception.
The fact that there are a few bad nuts out there which is relatively present in every profession does not change the status quo of the profession, journalism.
Interestly, there are well behaved and mannered practitioners who strive for perfection, causing positive change in the society and serving their beloved country, Ghana.
Journalism to say is a profession that goes beyond gathering of information, it involves thorough research, cross-check, I mean double cross-check of information gathered before disseminating it to the public, thus, making sure that the information solves a problem and is of the interest of the society and also free from any biases.
Day to day, numerous universities and institutions trainpeople to become journalists and such universities and institutions are the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Jayee University College, National Film and Television Institute(NAFTI) and many more.
However, every institutions has their methods of teaching and educating these individuals in order to prepare them for the job market but there are certain values they won’t teach, you won’t find in books but have to learn it on your own as time goes by.
This, to say has made the competition very tight that, it becomes easyfor one to be side lined and forgotten with very simple reasons.
Every journalist is required to equip themselves with more than just knowing about the job and a few skills but must also possess some key skills which would enable them execute their duties efficiently.
These skills require more than just having a fair idea about it but also applying them in your day to day activities as a professional journalist.
Journalists have to be problem solvers. One must have the ability to think critically in order to find solutions to problems facing the society. Its more than just reporting on the issues and giving it to the people but also researching more into what happened ,what has been done to curb the situation and also going further to enforce the solution or providing a better one.
Every journalist is expected to be selfless meaning your work should not be about how much you will gain, how many people will see you or how famous you will become but should be about serving the people since your first loyalty is to the citizens not forgetting your priority should be about what you can give to the society and what you can do to change the society positively.
Working in a team is never easy but no one said it was impossible and knowing how to work with others is a plus to every journalist for it helps you relate as well co-ordinate well with others when been assigned to a project.
It is important to note, it takes more than one person’s effort in this profession, therefore theneed to communicate with everyone, considering every idea and opinion that may come up and choose the best out ofthese shared ideas of people to address a problem or a situation.
This makes team work relevantto the profession journalism for it produces the best results since everyone is putting in their maximum best for the realization of an objective or goal.
In our days of journalism, the term ‘Soli’ is a popular word among media practitioners and even the people aroundus in the society. It is perceived that individuals who take soli are not trained journalists and are not accorded much respect though sometimes is token given to show appreciation of one’s work or skills.
Meanwhile, it is also of relevant for a journalist to be honest in his or her day to day reportage irrespective of the ‘soli’received and to say, if receiving ‘soli’will jeopardize your work, you have the right to turn it down, a standard of integrity and honesty that will be admired by all and sundry.
In conclusion, Journalists should refrain from publishing irrelevant stories about celebrities but should be more concerned with stories that would speed up the country’s development and also challenge the status quo.