The Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) and International Sports Press Association (AIPS) Africa held a seminar for Sports Journalists with the theme, Raising the bar for today's women's sports journalists, with over 100 journalists drawn from hosts Ghana, Mali, Cameroon, South Africa and Nigeria.
Group photo of the resource personalities at the sports journalists seminar.
Rosalind Amoh, a veteran sports journalist and football administrator, took participants through the past, present and future of African football, whilst Mitchell Obi, president of AIPS Africa, exposed participants to the exploits of some female sports journalists on the continent and their prospects.
Obi delivered a presentation on the ethics of sports journalism, the challenges of today’s sports journalists and how to deal with them.
Isaac Kwame Asiamah, the Minister of Youth and Sports, who opened the seminar, said his Ministry is ready to enter into viable partnership with sports journalists to find lasting solutions to the lack of interest and adequate publicity for women’s sports in Ghana and on the continent.
He said the low level of publicity for the ongoing Total Africa women Cup of Nations (AWCON 2018), had not helped attract the required public interest and attention.
“Officials have literally bussed people to the stadium to occupy almost empty space. Sports journalists have not shown the same interest in women’s football as they do for their male counterparts,” he added.
Kwabena Yeboah, president of SWAG, said he was happy to have a partnership with AIPS Africa that has over the years created learning opportunities for young journalists from Ghana.
According to Amoh, though there is so much pressure and challenges for female sports journalists, they still need to cultivate the right attitude and focus. "You need to know who you are as a person and what you stand for, to achieve.
“There has always been discrimination in the execution of our duties as females, but with the right mental fortitude and determination, it is easy to get noticed for all the good reasons, earning you the necessary respect,” she added.
Obi urged sports journalists to uphold the highest standards of the profession, remain firm in the dispensation of their duties.
He said all journalists have interests, but that interest must not conflict with their personal interest.
"Get your facts right and do your story fairly. Sports journalism has not changed, but the tools to practice it have changed with technology. We must therefore make good use of the tools in the practice of the profession, but this must be done with circumspection, sincerity and sense of balance, as the slightest offensive write-up may destroy the careers or lives of people" Obi pointed out.
The seminar which took place in the final week of the WAFCON, in which defending champions Nigeria will face South Africa in a Saturday final, is the first programme put together to celebrate 50 years of Ghana's Sports Writers Association (SWAG). The Association will host the AIPS AFRICA congress in Accra next year.
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