The Public Affairs Section of the United States Embassy in Ghana has organised a day?s training programme for journalists working in Tamale, on the use of social media and other related technologies.

It was aimed at building the capacities of the journalists to enable them to maximise the use of social media tools to promote their work and personal development. This they could do by reaching out to more audience and raising their profile internationally.

In a brief address to open the training session, Mr Kwabena Akuamoah-Boateng, who is the Social Media Assets Manager at the embassy, said globally a number of newspapers were either folding up and going online or making attempts to increase their online presence.

He cited News Week as one of such popular magazines in the United States (US) which printed its last edition recently and was now only available online.

On the local scene, he mentioned the Daily Graphic, the most popular state-owned newspaper in Ghana, which has made some significant efforts to improve its website and increase its presence online.

Mr Akuamoah-Boateng said correspondingly, it had become crucial for journalists to keep up with modern trends in technology, especially as it relates to journalism.

?Do not remain like an old-time secretary still typing on the typewriter,? he cautioned.

Among the social media applications he mentioned were facebook, twitter, linkedin and google plus, which he said were used to provide the personal profiles of users.

?Linkedin is an important social media tool for most professionals because it is a platform that they use to advertise their skills and raise their profile in the professional community,? he explained.

Mr Akuamoah-Boateng also mentioned video applications such as youtube, vimeo, vine and photo applications such as flickr and instagram, as well as chat applications, notably whatsapp, messenger and SMS.

?You can use these tools to share photos and ideas and build a network. You can also use blogs to publish the stories you produce for your media houses and direct traffic to your blogs by using other social media tools,? he stated.

He mentioned DJ Black, Bernard Avle and Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah as some Ghanaian journalists who were making good use of social media, especially twitter, to attract audience.

The Information Officer at the embassy, Ms Jeanne Clark, said the embassy, having recognised the potential of social media, had opened accounts on some of the applications.

?We launched our twitter page in October, last year, and now we have over 5000 followers,? she stated.

?Many young people are online and so we feel we can reach more people through social media. It has become a very valuable tool that must be fully utilised,? she said.

A number of issues were raised, particularly on internet security and copywrite issues, and the discussions that ensued provided more insight into the world of social media and how to protect one?s accounts and content.

Mr Joseph Ziem, a journalist and blogger in Tamale, commended the embassy for its initiative and underscored the wider and effective space that social media provided journalists to get their stories to the world.

?Blogging has been good for me and I am sure many other bloggers would attest to the power of blogging,? he said in a chat with the Daily Graphic.

Via: Daily Graphic

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