As part of preparations towards a successful and credible coverage of the 2012 elections particularly in the Western Region, Joy FM’s affiliate station in Takoradi, Radio Maxx, has taken reporters through a training workshop aimed at enhancing their capacities.
Twelve reporters from the northern part of the Western Region and fourteen from the Southern sector were taken through the rudiments of biometric voting and verification system by the Electoral Commission for the region’s 26 constituencies.
Resource persons from the Ghana Journalists Association, GJA, Joy FM and the National Commission for Civic Education, NCCE, also took participants through guidelines for election reportage, the dos and don’ts on Election Day amongst others.
A Deputy Western Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, James Arthur Yeboah said it was crucial for journalists to be abreast with the electoral process particularly as the country prepares for its first biometric voting system in the 2012 General elections.
Mr. Arthur Yeboah said once the role of the media in credible elections is crucial; there is the need for journalists to build their capacities.
He noted that although the media has been cautioned not to call election results, it will only take the media to broadcast the results to the citizenry when they are announced.
He charged journalists to observe the process critically and alert the Electoral Commission and other stakeholders where necessary.
“Sometimes there are rumours and certain things that happen that the media must observe and communicate what they have seen for prompt action. I also believe the journalists should learn and know the electoral processes so they can compare what they know and what they see on the ground. They must report what they see but not interfere in the process” he noted.
Programmes Manager for Radio Maxx, John Amoako Nzoley said the station and its partner Joy Fm, are committed to responsible journalism hence the commitment to sharpen reporters capacities for the task ahead.
Some participants who spoke to Maxx News said they were optimistic the training would go a long way to improve their reportage.