Dr. Stanley Semarco, Senior Lecturer and Dean of the School of Alternative Learning (SAL) at the University of Media, Arts, and Communication—Institute of Journalism (UniMAC-IJ), has emphasized the importance of media owners, reporters, and student journalists focusing on educational issues, problems, and developments in their reporting.
This call is based on his research findings, revealing that many media houses in Ghana allocate limited time to stories concerning education.
Dr. Semarco said this during his presentation on the topic, “Considering Education Communication and Schooling Issues: The Education beat terrain reporters wish to travel,” at the 10th Inter-Faculty research seminar organized by the Directorate of Research, Innovations, and Development (DRID) at the University of Media, Arts, and Communication—Institute of Journalism (UniMAC-IJ).
He highlighted that only a few stories were captured in some print media houses, as reported by Guana and Ibn in 2022. Out of the four newspapers sampled in Ghana and Nigeria, including the Ghanaian Times and Daily Guide, only six hundred and thirty-seven (637) educational stories were covered in a year. The Ghanaian Times and Daily Guide covered 258 educational stories, indicating a lower rate of educational news reportage in the media.
The study also revealed that in other jurisdictions, some broadcast news media houses published under one percent (1%) of educational stories.
After the seminar, journalism and media studies students expressed their interest in the study, finding it insightful and revealing. They indicated a desire to take courses in education communication to enhance their skills in covering and writing educational news stories.
Gabriel Jackson Oklu, a student, shared, “…I have been writing news, mostly trying to find stories around education that I can work on to not only improve the school but also enhance my knowledge. It will help.”
Edna Garimah, another journalism student, remarked, “If you are educated, it gives you an upper hand in society, and so if journalists are trained in reporting educational stories, it is going to help… If not for nothing at all, I might consider majoring in education communication.”
Some lecturers who attended the seminar advised Dr. Semarco to ensure the final research work reaches stakeholders in education. They emphasized that the findings would be useful for media training institutions in the country.
In his closing remarks, Dr. James Asante, Dean of the Journalism and Media Studies faculty at UniMAC-IJ, expressed gratitude to Dr. Stanley
Semarco for his insightful presentation. Dr. Asante encouraged participants to carry forward the discussions and apply the knowledge gained to contribute to advancements in education communication. He reiterated UniMAC-IJ’s commitment to fostering a culture of research and innovation to shape policies in the country.