As part of its 25th anniversary celebrations, MTN Ghana has started series of conversations with distinguished personalities who have contributed to the growth of the country in various sectors.
Last Wednesday, April 14, 2021, the telecommunications giant celebrated seasoned journalist Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng at its MTN Bright Conversations event.
Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng, the current Apagyahene of Akyem Ati, was a former Chairman of the National Media Commission and Editor at Graphic Communications. Sharing his life as a journalist, he recounted how journalism was practised in the ’80s and how he contributed to the press freedom being enjoyed today.
Recalling how a bold step to write a report on a football match at the tender age of 10, carved a new path for him into journalism, Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng admonished young journalists to be adventurous and focus on pertinent issues as they occur in society. He noted that journalism must first serve the public interest, hence, journalists should not forget their professional ethics when reporting on issues.
“In Journalism, new angles are emerging and our journalists must be a bit more adventurous, they must be a bit more curious to think outside the box, to look for new angles and these are the things that I think can happen now but are not happening.” — Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng
Describing himself as still being a student of journalism, he is of the conviction that universities and educational institutions must provide space for experienced people to have fellowship with students to help them with the right focus as they become journalists.
“We must involve the experienced ones, There are so many journalists I can name that I know are sitting at home retired who will be willing to go and do a one-day training and pass on their experiences. This is a craft, and like all crafts, you have to learn. People know these things and can help.”
Nana encouraged young journalists to explore and volunteer at media houses to broaden their knowledge. Commenting on volunteering, however, he said that volunteerism or internship must not be a substitute for employment; and that anybody that takes a young person as an intern for more than six months to one year and still treats them as interns but expects them to do full-time jobs is clearly exploiting them.
“There are some young people who have been working at media houses who have not been paid for years. And this is what gives rise to the “soli” culture, where people are hanging on because when they go for assignments they will be giving a form of transportation fare. This distorts their focus so they begin to prioritize that above the value of the work they are supposed to do.”
I do not recall that in our time, people did internships forever and were exploited. But it was a good way of getting into the media.”
Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng expressed gratitude to the Management of MTN and its Communications department for organising the MTN Bright Conversations event.
The Chairman of the MTN Bright Conversations event was the Board Chairman of Graphic Communications Group Limited – Professor Kwame Karikari, who is also a Communications Specialist.
Describing Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng as the embodiment of Journalism in his closing remarks, Prof. Karikari reiterated the need for media houses to seek the interest of the public in their reportage, for the betterment of the country.
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