Making Oil and Gas a headline Issue in the Media: Penplusbytes builds media capacity to set the agenda
A key ingredient to promoting good governance in the oil and gas sector is an effective and consistent media oversight in the sector which is anchored on an informed, responsive and dynamic media to provide necessary and accurate information to the public about critical governance issues. To achieve this goal, Penplusbytes with support from Ghana Oil and Gas for Inclusive Growth (GOGIG) is implementing a 6-month “Enhancing the role of the Media in promoting Oil and Gas sector transparency and accountability” project.
The project is aimed at increasing transparency and accountability in the sector through effective public oversight on oil and gas revenue management. In all, ten (10) journalists from leading media houses in Ghana will undergo an intensive 10 day training session on various topics such as budget tracking, project tracking, analytic story writing, forensics, data journalism as well as investigative journalism.
The training programme is designed to provide a holistic and comprehensive support to the selected journalists through specialized knowledge and skills modules; professional mentoring; field trips; innovative use and application of data journalism skills; access to sources and vital information. A key activity will be a power reporting series and networking session which will bring together peers, experts, policy makers, and oversight actors in the oil and gas sector to interact and network with the selected journalists. In addition, the journalists will be provided bursaries to undertake individual field trips to oil and gas funded projects to generate impactful stories aimed at promoting transparency and accountability in the sector.
This component of the project will start with a face-to-face training including field trips from the 24th of September till 3rd of October this year.
According to the Executive Director of Penplusbytes, Kwami Ahiabenu II, the training phase of the project is to support journalists and media houses to enhance quality and increase quantity of oil and gas investigative stories in the mass media. “There are countless questions surrounding the oil and gas sector such as corruption, misapplication of petroleum revenues and many others. These and other issues require deeper analysis and investigation to unearth and bring to light some of the issues. Penplusbytes with this project is seeking to make such issues prominent in mass media and amongst citizens”, he added.
By the end of the project, it is expected that oil and gas issues will become a headline topic in the media landscape and journalists will be at the forefront of providing relevant content for civil society and citizens to hold duty bearers to account in the advocacy towards good governance in the sector transparency, accountability and good governance over the oil and gas sector revenue would have increased for the development of Ghana.
Penplusbytes is a not-for-profit organization driving change through innovations in three key areas: using new digital technologies to enable good governance and accountability, new media and innovations, and driving oversight for effective utilisation of mining, oil and gas revenue and resources.