Putting theory into practice: Department of Communication Studies’ MA students visit Media General and Business and Financial Times

By Dorelle Ewurama Kumi, MA Student, Department of Communication Studies.

Photo: Dr. Theodora Dame Adjin-Tettey (left) and two students (right) having a feel of a radio interview

The educational space in Ghana, particularly the humanities and social sciences at the tertiary level, has been labeled as theory based. This is because students do not often get to put into practice what they have been taught in the classroom. The University of Ghana’s Department of Communication Studies, however, is changing this narrative.  As part of their course requirements for Journalism and Media and Information Literacy, MA Communication Studies students stepped out of the classroom and paid a visit to two media houses: Media General and Business and Financial Times. The aim of the visit was to allow the students to have an on-the-ground experience of things they have been taught in class and pick the brains of these top industry players on some issues pertinent to the field. They were accompanied by Dr. Theodora Dame Adjin-Tettey and Dr. Aurelia Ayisi, lecturers of the two courses.

The visit to Media General allowed the students to explore the workings of the converged newsroom. They had the chance to interact with the online media team and learnt about how the department generates revenue for Media General, owners of TV3, Onua FM, Connect FM and 3FM. Emmanuel Osei Asante, one of the students said, “I was surprised to know that online media requires as much work as the traditional media and generates a lot of revenue. You need a lot of experience and expertise to get the job done and done right.” 

The students also got to witness the production processes for news presented on television and radio as well as shows, where the role of producers was highlighted. Esther Afful, a student, was amazed at the whole production process. She said, “I never knew that most of the studio sets we see on TV are small and moveable.” The students now have a newfound appreciation for pre-recorded shows. The majority of the students were excited by the enchantment of prerecorded shows when they witnessed what it takes to produce one.

The visit to the B&FT newsroom located at Ashaley Botwe enabled the students to explore the world of print media. When asked what sets B&FT apart from other media houses, Bennard Yaw Ashiadey, who spoke on behalf of the Managing Editor said: “Credibility, integrity and also timely delivery. We strive to tell the truth.” These are tenets the journalism students have been exposed to in the classroom. The Deputy Editor extended an invitation to the students to be external writers for the paper, an offer the students were excited about.

Photo: A section of the students with Bernard Yaw Ashiadey, News Editor at B&FT (middle) observing a newspaper

The students were shown how B&FT uses online platforms to generate revenue, save money and reach a wider audience. They were taken through the print production processes. At the end of the two visits, students indicated their three key take-aways as: the importance of sources to a media house, the role editors play in newsrooms and the importance of factchecking. One of the students, Keturah Dawn expressed her delight about the initiative taken by the department: "I hope we will get more opportunities like this during the semester.”

Photo: Group picture of the lecturers and students at the B&FT premises

Article Type: