Journalists have been reminded of the need to crosscheck and establish the authenticity of information before publishing it as a news item.
Mr Matthew Donkor, the Principal of the OTEC School of Journalism and Communication Studies, said it was worrying to see journalists picking stories from social media and other platforms to publish them as true stories.
“As professionals, we need not pick stories from social media and publish them as true, we need to practise double-checking of our facts,” he advised.
In all, 63 students graduated for the 2018/2019, 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 academic years.
The 2018/2019 had graduating students of 16, with eight males and eight females.
The 2019/2020 had a graduating class of 36 students, with 14 males and 22 females, and 2020/2021 also had 20 students, with 11 males and nine females.
The graduation ceremony was on the theme “Ensuring responsible journalism; the role of media training institutions.”
OTEC School runs a two-year Diploma in Journalism and Media studies and is affiliated with the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), formally National Board for Professional and Technical Examination (NABPTEX).
Mr Donkor said the management of the School had initiated all the desirable processes for getting accreditation from the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC), adding that all requirements had been submitted.
According to Mr Donkor, the School was determined to promote responsible journalism, and therefore, charged the graduands to apply the skills and lessons received from the training to stand out.
Mr Kwabena Owusu-Nketiah, the Director of Education, Obuasi East District, urged the media to be diligent with the information received, saying “it pays to take time to publish accurate information to maintain your credibility.”
According to him, the press was the fundamental pillar of a country, therefore, there was the need for a responsible, free and independent press to hold in power to account.
He advised the graduands to maintain the quality of their reportage at the highest level, to help build and strengthen their credibility.
OTEC School of Journalism and Communication Studies was established on the 1st of March, 2004 by the Late Mr Bright Oppong Twumasi (the founder and Chief Executive of OTEC Group of Companies), with 10 students.