By Maxwell Nkansah
In my journey as a journalist, I have come across a lot of difficulties in my community and other regions. As journalists, we ought to be the mouthpiece of the people in our communities and to intercede for their concerns. In my community, I used my journalism to impact so many young people in Ghana and other parts on the African Continent.
In Shai-Osudoku, my attention has been drawn to some vital concerns by the townsfolk. Some of their needs include; water, electricity, bridge, hospital, etc.
I therefore, took the step in meeting with the Member of Parliament Hon. Linda Ocloo Obenewa Akweley of the community to ensure the government assists in providing most of those needs. I also interacted with some youth of the area, asking their opinion on some developmental projects put in place by the government.
After my intervention, these challenges facing my community have been addressed. This means their living condition has been improved drastically. I hold the view that there are still more stories to be told to make sure those hiding issues facing many communities will be brought to light for proper solutions.
In 2019, I was invited to Uganda to address delegates on Sustainable Development Goals and the fight against corruption which has been the case for youth not getting jobs after university. It was an honor standing in front of over 200 energetic youth who are one wayor the other waiting for job opportunities. Corruption has played a major role in preventing a country from developing and creating jobs for its youth or citizens.
As a public watchdog whose first interest is telling the story of deprived communities and a human right advocate, I use my time to go on the ground to fetch issues affecting the livelihood of those living in these communities and send the message across to those in authority to help solve.
I always have an interest in telling the African stories and bringing to the public eye difficulties people face daily. I want to tell authentic and complex stories that society is not ready and is afraid to talk about. In the near future, I see and I hope for a lot of interesting things that will expand my experience in my field of work.
To the journalists I will say; be sure to try your hands on everything that uncovers the true story. This is the chance for journalists to show their level of professionalism. Journalism has a great impact on society because it is the only weapon that can change the world completely hence, must be done to perfection.
We can change the bad ideas and the mentality of the people. Most things can be changed by Media power. It’s the responsibility of every journalist to work for truth and for good.
Today, yellow journalism is a big virus that is damaging the world completely. The use of Journalism should be for the benefit of people and for the rights of people who are not able to stand for themselves.
I would say to any journalist and aspiring journalist out there, rewrite the narrative and influence change. No media platform is too small to start change, no voice is too low, no picture is too hazy and no ink is too faint. There is no greater opportunity than this. I will do everything possible to change the status quo.
My relationship with my audience has changed from expecting readers to work to understand my reporting and publication habits to recognizing that I must regularly work to understand my readers’ interests and media consumption behaviors.
When journalists ask themselves who their work is for, it’s easy to answer, “Everyone.” But to rise above the noise of digital communication helps to target your outreach to a narrower group. To identify what communities your work ought to involve, consider the beat, topic, or issue you’re exploring.
Although media cannot solve the world’s problems on its own, it can contribute to creating awareness and sympathy, helping raise funds and aid, and encourage people to take action for those affected.
Conveying information is an important part of the democratic decision making system, as it brings transparency into society and for its part makes sure that the made decisions go along with the peoples sense of justice.
One the other hand, journalism lets the policymakers know what kinds of effects their previous decision have and what kinds decisions have been made elsewhere. Let keep on impacting lives. I will end by asking all colleague journalists to come together and fight the common enemy within our cycle; which is corruption, injustice, crime, child abuse, child slavering. Our duty is to educate, entertain and inform.
Let us not play with the mandate carrying on us to serve the people, who have no power or way into the politicians. The day we refuse to speak true to power, it will be the day the citizens will lose trust in us. We have responsibility to play in helping shape the development of our respectful countries. Let portray the “FOURTH ESTATE OF THR REALM” with professionalism!!