Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA) have been urged to use data at their disposal to drive analytical discourse and produce credible stories.
In a speech read on behalf of Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari – First Deputy Governor, Bank of Ghana (BoG) – by Dr. Philip Abradu-Otoo, Director of Research-BoG, he emphasised that efforts aimed at boosting confidence must come from all facets of economic life, and urged the journalists to leverage this to ensure their core mandate is achieved.
“The institutions must play their role; private agents must take advantage of conditions around them; government must play its role in delivering growth in a stable economic environment; and the central bank will have to guarantee low and stable inflation using the tools available at their disposal. The press must leverage all to influence the direction of economic thinking and to influence society.
“Journalists must go beyond the data provided to them, and do more interrogation of the data to understand better the data-generating facts. All these work in concert to engender economic confidence, and that is where we ought to be moving toward,” he stressed.
Chairperson for the training session, Executive Director and Head of Consumer Banking, Dr. Edward Botchway, speaking on the theme ‘Accurate Reportage, Key to Financial Stability’, advised the journalists to be mindful of the consequences from their reportage on the populace’s confidence – noting that credibility is key.
“The need to show credibility is the most important feature we can have for people who want to listen to you or read what you write. It is helpful to look at the context within which a story is being told. I think in this reporting and wanting to show a fair view, let’s be mindful of the consequences of what we are reporting on the confidence of the people who read the articles,” he said.
Managing Director-Ecobank, Daniel Sackey, in his welcome address urged the journalists to use the knowledge that will be acquired to boost their reportage.
“The skills that you acquire should deepen not just your own knowledge but also spread among your various organisations; because we expect that your business desks will have the required reportage, required information and also the capacity to influence what goes on in each media house. Report the facts, talk about the key issues; let’s delve into it and make sure we have exhausted the basis for discussion,” he said.
Mr. Sackey further stressed the need for journalists to increase their reportage on financial inclusion, as it is one of the bank’s main mandates.
“We at Ecobank have always been driven by financial inclusion. We believe it is something that is key to promoting development. It is important that as JBA we are able to improve the education on financial inclusion. The larger portion of our economy – 70 percent – is informal. So, we are interested in financial inclusion, and we would like to see a bit more of you in that area – in terms of improving education and reportage,” he noted.
President for JBA, Suleman Mustapha, thanked management of Ecobank and BoG for their sponsorship and support respectively since 2015, and encouraged members to ensure that whatever training they receive is used to enhance the collective effort to achieve sustained micro-economic stability and growth: by delivering news and analysis accurately without bias and to meet the requirement needs of credibility.