Accra, Nov. 03, GNA – The Ghana News Agency (GNA) is taking commanding lead in the digital space to provide subscribers with well-known brand of credible news, leveraging on cutting-edge technology.
Mr Kofi Owusu, the General Manager of the Agency, said the move was necessitating the expansion of services from text-to-voice formats, including video, infographics and digital photography.
“We have already set the tone with the redesigning of GNA’s own website, introducing user-interactive features including a photobank and GNA TV,” he said.
Mr Owusu said this on Tuesday at the opening of a two-day training workshop on Digital News Production, organised by the Agency for its editorial staff.
“We have propped up our online and social media unit ensuring that our products reach new audiences via our social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.”
He said as a non-profit newswire, GNA’s services attracted only nominal charges from its subscribers, however, Management was working on a strategic plan to position the Agency as a commercially viable news organisation to raise significant revenue to support its operations and, hopefully, pay dividends to government.
Mr Owusu said journalism, the world over, was going through an era of uncertainty and “it is not yet clear what the business model for the news field will be, and this is happening at a time when information is a central issue in every person’s life.”
He noted that the coronavirus pandemic had further impacted the challenges of the media with journalists having to redefine their jobs in a landscape full of misinformation.
That necessitated taking on new responsibilities and consider how their work might be misused by bad actors, who had easy access to the internet and could act both against people and the public good, he said.
The General Manager said amid the chaos, traditional media, equipped with journalism skills of fact-checking and rigorous analysis, should do more to address the issue of disinformation – fighting fake news and half-truths.
“This is what the GNA is determined to do along with our partners in the media industry,” he said.
Mr Owusu said Management was discussing with the Ghana Library Authority to convert GNA’s analogue library into a modern digital one to serve staff and clients.
“We, therefore, call on individuals and corporate organisations to come to our aid. Already, we have received promises from some organisations and private companies. We are praying that they will come good on those promises.”
Madam Doris Kuwornu, the Chairperson of ICT/Editorial Committee of the GNA Board of Directors, said the Agency remained the unique voice of the country and defined what Ghana truly represented in the scheme of Africa and world affairs through authentic news gathering.
“No one can take this from the Agency,” she said.
Mrs Beatrice Asamani Savage, the Director of Editorial, said GNA was taking back its rightful place on the media landscape in Ghana and beyond.
She said the training was critical to ensure that reporters became abreast of the changing trends in the digital space to enable them to disseminate information in a manner that met contemporary needs.
Mr Joseph Debrah-Gyamfi, a Member of the National Media Commission, expressed joy that GNA was preparing itself to take back its enviable position on the media landscape.