YES-Ghana attended a training session on how Civil Service Organization’s (CSOs) and media organizations can effectively collaborate to promote social justice and accountability in Lagos, Nigeria on March 8 and 9, 2018. The two days training session which took place in Lagos is a follow up of the round-table conference on social justice and accountability organized in January 2018 by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).
Speaking on the role of the media in social justice and accountability, Mr. Edetaen Ojo, the Executive Director of Media Rights Foundation indicated that the media can reach a large number of people very quickly thereby providing them with information and influencing their opinions; has the capacity to raise public awareness and knowledge about a particular issue; and the capacity to serve as a platform for citizens to participate in governance. Therefore, the media have a collective obligation to devote time & space to the articulation of issues of relevance to social justice & accountability.
Mr. Phillip Jakpor, Head of Media and Campaigns at Environmental Rights Action emphasized that the CSOs must be deliberate about their partnerships with the media and form a symbiotic relationship to ensure that power brokers and duty bearers are held accountable for their actions. Other topics explored include the use of new media for messaging and how CSOs can take advantage of different media products and opportunities. A visit to The Nation, a prominent media organization in Lagos to appreciate how the newsroom works climaxed the training session.
Most of the participants at the training sessions were CSOs who have received grants from the Ford Foundation mainly from Nigeria and Ghana. Representing YES-Ghana was Mr. Eric Saforo who believes that the way forward with this training is to have a comprehensive plan for the organization’s media interaction and to collaborate with some media organizations in Ghana to promote social justice and accountability. The other Ghanaian counterpart who traveled with Mr. Saforo is Mr. Samuel Jude Acquaah from Ashesi University. The rest of the participants were from Nigeria.