Senior lecturer and Dean of the School of Alternative Learning (SAL) at the University of Media, Arts and Communication—Institute of Journalism (UniMAC-IJ), Dr. Stanley Semarco, has called on media owners, reporters, and student journalists to prioritize educational issues, problems, and developments in their reportage.
Dr. Semarco made this call following the results of his research, which revealed that most media houses in Ghana do not allocate much time for stories concerning education.
Dr Semarco was speaking 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).
Dr. Semarco’s research found that only a few educational stories were covered in some print media houses.
For example, a study by Guana and Ibn in 2022 found that out of four newspapers sampled in Ghana and Nigeria, including the Ghanaian Times and Daily Guide, only 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 news media.
The study also showed that the situation is similar in other jurisdictions, with some broadcast news media houses publishing less than one percent of educational stories.
Speaking to some journalism and media studies students of the University after the seminar, they indicated that they found the study insightful and revealing.
They expressed their interest in taking courses in education communication, which will broaden their skills in covering and writing educational news stories.
“…I have been writing news mostly trying to see news around education that I can work on not only better the school but also better my knowledge around education, it will help,” a student, Gabriel Jackson Oklu, said.
“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,” another journalism student, Edna Garimah remarked.
Some lecturers who attended the seminar also admonished Dr. Semarco to ensure the final research work get to the stakeholders in education to ensure the findings are considered, citing that the topic will 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 his 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.