The US-based Africa Center for International Law and Accountability (ACILA) will hold the first-ever international law reporting training workshops for Ghanaian journalists and student journalists in Accra, Ghana.
About 80 practicing journalists and student journalists are expected to attend two separate workshops beginning next week, December 21st. The student journalists, who are drawn from the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), will attend the workshop next week and the workshop for practicing journalists is scheduled for the first week of January next year.
ACILA, which is incorporated under US law as a 501(c) (3) research and education think tank and aims to contribute to African scholarship through enhanced understanding of international law, will hold the workshop for the student journalists in collaboration with the Faculty of Journalism of the Ghana Institute of Journalism. It plans to hold similar workshops for student journalists and African journalists in West, East, North, and South Africa next year.
According to Mr. William Nyarko, Executive Director of ACILA, the training comes at a time when State Parties and non-state actors have increased their use of the international legal system to resolve disputes, making it imperative for the media to acquire an appreciable knowledge and understanding of the international legal system and demonstrate the knowledge in their reportage.
He said that while much of the reportage of international law issues continues to be undertaken by the well-resourced international media to the disadvantage of the under-resourced African media, the recent media coverage of the Ghana/Cote d’Ivoire maritime delimitation dispute by the Ghanaian media shows that when given the knowledge and opportunity, African journalists can do much better reporting on international legal issues.
Explaining the inclusion of student journalists in the workshop, Mr. Nyarko noted that student journalists who receive training in international law reporting will be better prepared for professional practice once they graduate from school.
Commenting on the significance of the maiden workshop for student journalists, Mr. Zakaria Tanko Musah, Head of the Print Journalism Department, GIJ, said that GIJ is thrilled to be associated with the maiden workshop in the sub region, adding “It has been long overdue but it is better late than never “