Speaking on the topic ‘Keeping it real, from data to real social impact stories’, speakers at the MTN Bright Media Series have shared a variety of insights on journalism and emphasised the need for storytellers, particularly the media, to be circumspect with their reportage to effectively inform audiences.
They maintained that it is essential for writers to always keep the audience in mind, just as the key element of journalism stipulates that “the journalist’s loyalty is to the citizenry”.
For astute broadcaster Fiifi Koomson, working hard to ensure that a balanced and accurate story is channeled out is crucial.
“We must work hard to ensure that we are satisfying our audience. Whatever we deem significant, we must make sure we make it relevant and interesting in the presentation. Once these boxes are checked, we will be winning a lot of hearts and minds to our various platforms. Always remember it’s about the audience,” he said when he took his turn at the virtual session.
The session forms part of preparatory activities toward the regional roadshow with the CEO of MTN Ghana as he shares trends in the telecoms industry, and how MTN has positioned itself to deliver on its belief that ‘Everyone Deserves the Benefits of a Modern Connected Life’. The session, therefore, sought to enable participants to translate complex themes into enjoyable journalistic pieces for ordinary telecom users.
For his part, Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng – former president of the Ghana Association of Writers, emphasised the need for storytellers to have the correct facts and figures, as well as to double-check and seek clarification on any subject that is unclear to them so as to avoid misleading the public.
He also spoke about how journalists can tell compelling stories by going the extra mile and going outside the normal storytelling routine to grab the interest of the readers.
“Seek the meaning of details if you do not have them. As a journalist, you should not assume you know it all; hence, develop sources and speak to experts so that you do not mislead the audience. We render a service to the citizenry and that is key; and to do that, we need to make content relevant to the audience. Do not assume that everyone sees your relevance as theirs, especially for mass communication.
“Every story has an impact on readers, so it is also important to tell the hardcore stories from a human perspective, so allowing the ordinary person to relate to the story. For instance, linking the data to social impact,” he said.