As part of the third annual Global Legislative Openness Week (GLOW) activities around the world from 12th – 16th September, 2016, Penplusbytes will hold a one day training workshop on use of ICTs in reporting for Ghana’s Parliamentary press corps on Friday, September 16, 2016 at the New Media Hub in Accra.
This is premised on the fact that the media has a task to inform citizens about the responsibility of parliament and the role they play in our democracy and also how an open parliament will entrench Ghana’s fledgling democracy. With Ghana’s 2016 election scheduled to take place on December 7, the role of journalists has become even more important.
Informing the public about what the politicians are promising, telling the politicians what ordinary people want or do not want and ensuring that the polls are “free and fair” are some of the roles of media.
GLOW is an annual celebration of open, participatory legislative processes around the world and as a member of the parliamentary openness community, Penplusbytes seeks to provide technical and institutional support for media personnel for safeguarding the public interest, ensure Ghana’s Parliament remains relevant and effective in playing its oversight role and promoting good governance by holding duty bearers to account.
The Parliamentary Press Corp whose members are drawn from various news organisations will among other issues will be offered training that enhances their writing skills by engaging them in the use of data visualizations to tell compelling stories to advance the cause of open parliament. They would be introduced to creative story telling through data journalism into the news production and dissemination strategy of journalists; focusing on skills, processes and tools needed to write data driven stories.
Jerry Sam, Programmes Director at Penplusbytes said, “The media plays a critical role in Ghana’s democratic dispensation especially in informing and educating the public about policy interventions of government and their responsibility of contributing to political, economic and social development in ways consistent with democratic principles by pursuing fact-based, fully substantiated reporting. This workshop will seek to build the capacity of the media to use data journalism skills, expose them to risks and opportunities of using social media for reporting and its impact on an open parliament”
The third annual week of openness activities around the world will feature events hosted by the Legislative Openness Working Group of the Open Government Partnership and members of the parliamentary openness community.
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.