Thursday, December 11, 2008

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The Informer


3rd edition – 11th of December 2008



Editorial

Courage Agrompah and Innocent Akorli

The 3rd edition of The Informer presents many fun facts for you and reporting on the 2008 Presidential Election and very funny jokes written by our own sports reporter!

Due to the Holidays and vacations we also will go on break! Hopefully we will be back with more information on February or March! Wait for us and visit us on the website www.theinformer-ghana.blogspot.com !


GHANA 2008!

There will be a 2nd round

By James Hogba

It was declared by the General Chairman at the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr. Kodjo Afari-Gyan that the polls results were not enough to declare a winner. There were eight candidates in total, but none of them gathered the majority of votes for the presidential position.
Since they had most of the votes, the candidate for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo- Dankwah Akuffo Addo, and Professor Atta Mills’ National Democratic Congress (NDC) will participate on the runoff, scheduled for the 28th of December. Then, one of them will be elected president.
Dr. Afari-Gyan stated that the ruling party (NPP) leaded the first poll with 4,159,439 votes, which is equivalent to 49.13% of the total. The NDC follows it with 47.92%.
He also declared that the results for the Member of Parliament (MP) for Akwatia, in the Eastern Region and Asutifi, in the south were not yet decided.


Important facts!

Environmental degradation

BY Lydia Komla

It is the gradual process by which the natural states or the quality of the environment deteriorates or gets destroyed through the activities of man or other natural phenomena. This is happening in such a way that natural environmental resources are not enough to support plants and animals life.

CAUSES ?

Indiscriminate cutting of trees
Bush fires
Construction of roads and houses
Mining activities
Use of chemicals
Pollution of the atmosphere
Sand winning/quarrelling

SOLLUTION ?

There should be adequate education.
There should be practice of a forestation.

RSH FACTS!!!
By the Informer Team


DO YOU KNOW…

… what is Candidiasis?

Candidiasis is a fungal infection, like a mycosis. The fungus lives controlled in many people, but when it starts multiplying it can cause discomfort and sometimes, more serious symptoms.
The fungus can multiply when the body is not very healthy or when there is a change in the body system. For example, girls can have a change of the acidity (PH) of the vagina and then the fungus starts multiplying.
BUT! Candidiasis can also be spread through sex! Kissing and oral sex as well!
Candiasis can make the person feel pain when urinating, burning and itching on the intimate parts, and sometimes a thick, white discharge that is usually odorless, although it might smell like bread or yeast.
The treatment is very simple and quick. So, if you have any of these symptoms go look for a doctor or nurse!

… that there are many youth friendly websites for RSH?

Yes! There are websites with games, fun facts and videos to help youth better understand their bodies and reproductive and sexual needs, wishes and concerns!
Take a look at these here!
www.teenwire.com

Is a nice website with plenty information for young people! They talk about relationships, parenting, abortion, diseases, … and the fears and joys of growing up!

www.auntiestella.org

This has a lot of information for young people, specially those who are from or live in African countries!

www.hormonefactory.org


It has a fun programme on how hormones work in our bodies!

www.theworldstarts.org

It is a fun website that helps us understand how RSH works for us young people living in Africa. They have games and stories!

….that HIV

is the name for Human Immunodeficiency Virus! And that Aids is a syndrome that roughly means a collection of different symptoms.

Entertainment


The choir of Apostles Revelation Society Church turns three

By Afeke Eric Setsoafia

The Corinthians Choir of Apostles Revelation Society (ARS) Church celebrated three years of service last Sunday, the 11th of December, at the church premises in Ho. The choir which was founded on 13th November, 2005 by Rev. Gershon Doe Gakpetor has 30 members, including 16 males and 14 females. The church which is located behind the electoral commission was filled with hundreds of members of the congregation and well-wishers.

The regional superintendent minister (RSM), Rev. G.D. Gakpetor who preached the days sermon from Psalm 105:1-3, said if not for the special grace of God, the choir could have collapsed some time ago. “For that reason everybody should be happy about the celebration,” claimed Rev. Gakpetor.

He said that teenage pregnancy is a common issue in Ghana and urged all members of the choir to be careful in their practices. Rev. Gakpetor also asked attendants to plant the seed of unity, love, and forgiveness for every person, regardless of their status and condition.

After the sermon the president of the choir, Mr. Isaac Setsoafia read all the achievements made by the choir. An appeal was made for purchasing of musical instruments and at the end of the programme, an amount of GHc 1,100.00 was made available to the choir.

Music is the joy of life

By Ike Nkutie

90% of mankind testified that music is a term of singing, and dancing. In an interview with a local musician Mia Israe Magenta, from Tegdi, in the Volta Region makes us understand why.

“Music is the joy! I may say I was born with it. I started singing at the age two years. While singing I used to play my own manufactured Milk and Milo Tin drum,” said Magenta, remembering that that was great entertainment for people who surrounded him.

He tells that at primary level, he was appointed as morning devotion leader and at junior high school, he was elected as culture, music and dance prefect. “Amazingly at second circle level I was again adjudged school prefect. Through all this my leisure times were for music. For God has really been on my side,” explained the musician.

Magenta came out with his first album entitled Makafuie that means he will praise the lord with the help of supreme singer. Three years have passed since the first album.
“All this by God through his people and thus my pride,” finishes the musician who has a long career ahead of him.

JOKES!

At the spot
By Hayi Dickson

A customer at a drinking spot said to the waiter “please bring me the same sort of the drink that man is taking”, pointing to the man sitting beside him. After taking a sip of the drink he said back angrily to the waiter: “hey waiter! Is this the drink that man is taking and laughing on top. Did I ask of Quinine?”
The waiter replied, that it was the same drink that he was taking.
“Congratulations and well done sir”, said the customer to the other man.


WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME
By Hayi Dickson

A man in a commercial vehicle (TROTRO) travelling from Kumasi to Dunkwa witnessed what he believe was bringing illegal cargo. He saw the driver of his vehicle giving money to a policeman at a barrier. He said impolitely, “even with the positive change our drivers still bribe”. He confined “these policemen are so corrupt that one can trust them for fast a moment”.
Unknown for him there was a policeman sitting just behind him in the trotro. In an inform, the policeman topped him on “Oga, you say what?”
Then after realizing the one who tapped him was a policeman, he said cowardly: “but what at all is wrong with me, that any time I get booze I hate nonsense”.
You are not boozed ‘’ the man replied back.
“Officer, please I boozed I mean it .I’m boozed serious, serious”.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

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The Informer

2nd Edition, 27th of November 2008
A PRODUCT OF LADY VOLTA RESOURCE CENTRE


Editorial


by Ike Nkutie
With determination, one purpose, perseverance, and god on our side, we are able to come out with the second edition of The Informer.
This edition includes stories about girl-child education, an interview with the Chairman / Secretary of the National Democratic Convention (NDC, V.R.), opinions on contraception, sports stories about upcoming matches, frequent road accidents, peer pressure, abortion, school drop outs, another interview with the Convention People’s Party Chairman, Ho (CPP, V.R.), and many, many more.
Enjoy reading interesting stories. There are more to come!


Opinion

WHAT THE INFORMER THINKS ON IMPORTANT MATTERS


Girl-Child Education is fundamental for the growth of the country
By Regina Agbeko

In the past girl-child education was not regarded because of this reason: our grandparents thought that if they send a girl to school, she will only come back to be a servant for a man and work in the kitchen. Since that time, girl child education is not taken seriously. But one Ghanaian president said, “If you educate a boy, you educate a single soul, but if you educate a girl, you educate the whole nation.” With this saying girl-child education is now regarded seriously.
With the help of the Forum for Africa Woman Education (FAWE), which is giving opportunity to girls in Ghana and all of Africa to have access to education, girl-child education now helps girls to do what the boys are also doing. As the saying goes, “What boys can do, girls can also do even better.”
If a girl attends school properly to become a better woman in the future, she will help her children in the house by teaching them things concerning school and also helping them do their homework. Education makes girls not feel isolated but rather stand firm in a group of boys because she will also try to compete with them. When a girl is well educated you will see that there is discipline in her future home.


Abortion: rights and wrongs
By Remember Dzramedo

Pregnancy may not always be good news. If you find yourself with an unplanned pregnancy the situation can be very upsetting.
Abortion is a procedure to terminate unwanted pregnancy. The contents of the woman’s uterus are extracted or the woman is given medication to induce an abortion.
Abortion remains a contentious issue for many, but it is a personal decision for women. In most countries in Africa it is illegal to have an abortion and in some countries it is allowed only under certain conditions, for example, on medical grounds and when the life of the mother is in danger.
Some people believe myths that the following actions will bring on a spontaneous abortion or miscarriage: drinking herbal teas or large amounts of alcohol, exercising excessively, jumping up and down, taking hormones, inserting objects or herbs into the vagina, or having very hot baths. These are not methods of terminating a pregnancy and can damage your health.
For your own sake, it is important to act quickly and decide whether or not you want to have an abortion. This is a personal choice. If an abortion is performed in unsafe conditions, the risks to a woman’s health are significant and can be fatal. The procedure may damage the reproductive organs, cause sterility, peritonitis, and or other serious medical conditions.



We need to stop the road accidents
By Dickson Hayi

Road accident is described at the bad occurrences that suddenly happen to drivers, passengers, pedestrians or animals on the road, which normally leads to premature death and causes lost to property.
There are many causes of road accidents, but, mostly is because of people are over speeding. Most drivers apply over-speeding in their driving especially during occasions like festival such as Christmas, Easter, Yam festival and many more.
Some people take in alcohol that intoxicates them. Others have accidents while overtaking, dozing, sleeping, being disturbed by passengers or not recognizing road signs and traffic lights.
Road accidents cause harmful effect on humans, including loss of life, deformities and spoilage of goods and properties.
Deaths eventually result in shortage of human resources, including skills, knowledge and technical know how.
As a solution to road accidents, I recommend that drivers should avoid over-speeding and over-loading. The principle that state ‘if you drink, don’t drive. If you drive, don’t drink’ should strictly be observed.
The government should re-build all bad roads in the rural and urban areas to improve upon road and transport. The potholes should be filled and rough roads should be made smooth. Drivers in collaboration with vehicle owners should maintain their vehicles and ensure proper daily healthy conditions of their cars.
Let the authorities of roads and transports help us to say a very big ‘NO’ to road accidents and pre-mature death! We must face and fight road accidents!


School drop out: let’s face it!
By Courage Agrompah

We all know how important education is in a person’s life. It is what heklps people to acquire knowledge, skills and perception. But, unfourtunatelly, Ghana is facing more and more dropouts. And why is that?
It is sometimes possible that a person may drop out from school because of finantial problems and broken homes. It is very hard for the families to pay for their children school fees.
People also drop out of school due to peer pressure. Girls get unwanted pregnancies and boys are badly influenced by colleagues.
It is also common to see children develop the habit of being lazy. Instead of going to school, they go out for games. For example, a child may feel that is too hard to stop playing a game to go to school punctually, then he or she will be punished for being late and will not want to go back again.
I’m writing to all parents and friends to support the needy to go to school and stay in school. They will need help to develop habits of good behavior. Education is the key to success, so let us help them.


IT’S POLITICS

CPP wants to repeat Obama’s victory
By Eric Afeke Setsoafia

According to the Volta Region administration officer of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Mr. Albert Klu, the party has a higher chance to win the upcoming Presidential and Parliamentary Elections than in 2004.
He remembered that in 2000, when President Bush won the election in the United States of America (USA), he substituted the democratic in the office. The conservative New Patriotic Party (NPP) was very happy that another elephant (republicans symbol) had won. “But this time, with Obama’s election, the elephant has been defeated in America and it will also be defeated here in Ghana. Like Obama for the USA, the CPP is the change agent the country needs”, stated Mr. Klu.
In evidence for the growing support for the CPP, the administration officer explained that after the presidential debate on the television and radio stations, a large number of people commended the presidential candidate Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom. “He was at the top of the others. He excelled in all the issues brought before him,” celebrated.
But, Mr. Klu said that people need to do more that just express their positive feelings on the CPP candidate. “The best of it all is for all the eligible voters should go to vote on December 7th. They must exercise their rights very well and translate their sentiments into votes for the CPP Presidential and parliamentary candidates.”
Mr. Klu also called on all registered voters around to change their mind and throw their weigh solidly behind the red cockerel. “Voting massively for CPP is the way to achieve a great change for the country,” guaranteed.
He expressed the hope that the exemplary disposition of the two contestants in the north-american election is replicated in Ghana, when defeated candidates will congratulate and work with the victorious one.

One-touch victory for the NDC
By Edem Dogbe

On the 7th of December, Ghana will go to the polls to decide the best man to occupy the highest office of the land. Ghana will choose its president. The political turmoil has been great so far and it is sure to increase specially since there is less than two weeks left to the election.
In an exclusive interview with members from the regional secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the party is sure of being the winner. According to the NDC members, due to the current economic hardship that Ghanaians are going through, there is a need for change in government. The general secretary of Volta Region is very optimistic that the NDC has what it takes to lead Ghana from its current economic crisis.
The NDC urges the electorate to positively conduct themselves and have a violence-free election.

SPORTS!

A football match between St Propers’ College and Christian High School
By Dickson Hayi

The first round of the Ho Football Championship ended and the score line is still the same 1 – 1. It was a tough match but both team passed through it easily.
“It is not easy to draw with someone who is in my own home ground”, says the captain of St. Prospers’ College nicknamed Crazy. He added that the lack of some of the players made it difficult for them to carry the day. At the previous match, they scored two goals but one was not accepted. “We are going to be tough for at our next home match. It will be tough for the Christian High School”, Crazy promised to his opponents.
The captain of Christian High School made it clear that was only because of the injury of some of their players, they draw with Prosco School. “The amazing part of it was that our coach too was not around before the match,” explains.
He said that the next game will be very tough because they will do every thing to win and nothing will stop them from carrying the day.
“Come to the Ho Sport Stadium and see the real game,” said the captain of Prosco, promising that there is where they will walk on their opponents.

SOCIAL BASKET!

For the Informer’s gossiper, Gossip is a hobby
By James Hogba

“It is my hobby gossiping,” says Mr. Courage Afashime, who is popularly known as Mr. Gossiper of the Informer.
Mr. Gossiper says his main objection on why he gossips is the fact that he have interest what people do. “Hmm! It is not precisely my will to gossip but very happy been a gossiper,” Mr. Gossiper said.
He added that, It is not precisely his hobby been a gossiper but since he have interest in what people do it is nothing but his main hobby.
“I am very happy if people gossip about the fact but when false rumors are been gossiped about me, it pains me a lot so I will take all necessary actions to prove it right.” He said.
He said he will like to advice all these who gossip to gossip framely only on the fact not rumors that will take them to hell.
“I am busy writing some gossip,” he concluded.

Peer Pressure is at risk: keeping out deviant behavior
By Delali Ahiatrojeh

An expert in teenage relationship, Mr. Akoto explains that peer pressure is an act of influencing a person to do something he or she is not willing to do. “That is, forcing somebody to engage him or herself into some bad habits, where by encouraging a person in to a bad practice or deviant behavior. By so doing, that person is now tends to become master in that form of act”, ponders.
According to him, minority groups in villages and towns engage themselves into this forms of acts, like robbing people, bribing, dealings cocaine, smoking weed and tobacco, which will cause a lot of harm to their internal and external lives.
Mr. Akoto points that when people do not have good homes or sufficient food, or when they are often in bad health, or in a state of ignorance because of lack of education, they become unhappy, and unhappiness is often followed by discontent. “So what they will do is to join minority groups, practice bad habits and become armed robbers, weed smokers or cocaine dealers just to satisfy themselves”, says.
The expert thinks that the government should do something to help Ghanaian youth to become better educated, more healthy and prosperous.
Mr. Akoto says that his advice for the youth today is that they should undergo better education. “If they can not make it through education too, learn a job and make it in life.”


?????DID YOU KNOW????

What is Contraception?
By Prince Agrompa

Contraception or birth control is the term used for prevention of pregnancy. Both man and women can use contraceptives ritually but the periodicity varies according to the chosen method. 64% of reproductive age women use reversible methods, such as condom and the birth control pill.
The remaining group relies on female sterilization on their partner’s vasectomy.
Apart from unwanted pregnancy, the male and female condom prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and the immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Fortunately contraceptive related risks generally are minimal even for women with medical conditions.


Entertainment


Brussel Sprouts
By Regina Agbeko

I’m like a tightened fist
Holding back all my anger.
Trying to stay closed
And trying not to open and explode with anger.
I can’t hold my leaves closed any longer.
I’m exploding
My leaves are opening. I feel like a rocketship
That just took off for Mars.
My outside leaves are green,
But my inner-self is yellow with fur.
Now that I have been rid of my anger,
I can return to the field and start all over again.

Just a Dream
By Laura Seden Dogbey

The headmaster of my school hardly enters any class unless there is trouble. It was a bright morning. We were in class when Mr. John Smith, our headmaster, entered the room with a sheet of paper in his hand.
“What could it be?” I wondered. In the next second I guessed all was okay until all of a sudden my heart started pounding and I felt a cold chill down my body. In fact, my teeth began to chatter because the word “mercy” was not in his dictionary.
Mr. Smith began to mention names from the paper he was holding: Robert Mensah, Jackson Haxtin, and Laura Bush. “Oh my God that’s my name,” I thought. Upon hearing my name I took a trip down memory lane about what I had done last week. Then the headmaster started to speak. “Well, my students, contrary to your expectations this isn’t bad news at all. I am rather proud to announce that these three students have won a two year scholarship to study in any university of their choice in Britain for stealing the show at the National Theatre last Saturday. They also have the chance to visit the Queen of Britain,” he said.
Wow! “Did I hear him right?” I wondered. At that moment my heart leapt for joy that knew no bounds. I couldn’t wait to tell my folks at home. Just then I felt a tap on my shoulder. “Laura, wake up!” It was my roommate. I opened my eyes only to realize that I had been dreaming.

How Ananse Decided to Keep Away All Wisdom from Mankind
By Remember Dzramedo

Once upon a time there was a village called Nyansakrom. It was in that village when Nana Nyankopon created heaven and earth, he kept all wisdom. Nana Nyankopon put wisdom in a beautiful pot and kept it in a certain cave. Meanwhile, it was only the king and his subjects who knew where that treasure of wisdom was kept.
On great occasions like festivals, the king and his subjects, including some elders of the village, normally visited the place where wisdom was kept. The substance in that pot was in powdered form. The only blessing the king could give to his people during those festivals was the substance in that pot. When the king and his entourage returned from the place he just sprinkled the substance in the powdered form on all the people at the village and asked Nana Nyankopon to fill them with wisdom.
Kwaku Ananse was one of the subjects of the king and he didn't like that the king was doing to his people by giving them the wisdom. Ananse was a very selfish being who wanted to keep everything that belonged to everyone to himself. Okonore, who was the wife of Ananse, knew her husband was very crafty and full of tricks in all his adventures.
Okonore noticed that at times her husband Anase used to sit quietly brooding over something he wanted to do. So Okonore asked, “Why are you so quiet, my lord?” Ananse replied, “Nothing, my love.”
To be continued…



Contact us at theinformer-ghana@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

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The Informer


1st edition, November 12th, 2008


Ho, Volta Region - Ghana


Editor: Laura S. Dogbey




EDITORIAL

By Laura S. Dogbey

A journey of thousand miles is said to start with just one step. It is a fact that social vices such as drug abuse and teenage pregnancy are on the increase among the youth of today. What possible cause can we attribute to this issue that is harming our youth, who are the future leaders of this nation?
As youth, to be passive and indifferent to this is wickedness and to be ignorant of it is folly. As such, there must be a zealous effort on the part of all concerned to reverse this state of affairs.
Since time and tide waits for no man, we start our work by first working towards punctuality and time consciousness.
It is through this effort that 19 young people of the Lady Volta Resource Centre’s Creative Writing and Journalism Club, in Ho, the capital of Volta Region, have fought tooth and nail to get matters voiced out through a medium such as this mural newspaper.
Dear reader, we now present to you by the grace of God, the maiden edition of THE INFORMER. A bi-weekly mural newspaper which has the youth in focus and the nation at heart.
Indeed Francis Beacon said that. ‘”some books are to be tasted, others chewed, some swallowed and others digested’. Yes, we present to you a newspaper to be tasted, chewed swallowed and digested into the bloodstream of the youth of today.
The maiden edition features interviews with renowned personalities on politics, agriculture sector, sports and entertainment, and reproductive and sexual health issues including female genital mutilation, teenage pregnancy syphilis, medicine and a whole lot that is going to blow your mind off as you start reading this piece.
We chose to feature all this important topics to create awareness to the growing youth, especially on reproductive and sexual health issues which the youth has little or no knowledge about it.
Finally, we will like to thank all and sundry who contribute diverse quotas towards the realisation of this dream.

“Youth is an opportunity to do something and become somebody” .T,T Munger.




Education Section




Free schooling is not general in Volta Region



By Ike Nkutie



One of the last education policies installed by the government is the School Feeding Programme to free education to all students. At Mawuli E.P., one of the leading schools in Ho Municipality, in Volta Region, students plead for more investment in education and a full and honest approach to the programme.
“The government promised to make education free but hasn’t fulfilled it. We have a good amount of classes and extra curricular activities but it all has a very high cost for our families,” explains the Junior Secondary Student of the Mawuli E.P., Alorkpa Valley.
According to him the free education programme has not yet been fully implemented. “We still pay for the Parents and Teachers Association (PTA), sports, exam fees, printing fee and the expensive registration fee. Even though the classes are supposed to be free, what we pay is even more expensive that if we had to pay a tuition,” says Alorkpa.
Alorkpa’s situation is still common in the Volta Region. While some schools are benefiting from the programme, some are only partially and others not at all. The situation is not balanced and, according to Alorkpa, it is unfair and very difficult to handle.




Social Ballot




Agricultural sector is gradually deteriorating



By James Hogra



Due to the high cost of food prices these days, it is assumed that the agricultural sector is gradually deteriorating. Ghana is mostly an agricultural country and its citizens strongly depend on the crop production for survival and development. The deterioration of the sector is alarming to a lot of farmers who are scared to be thrown into poverty.
According to the yam farmer in Dodome (Volta Region), Kwame Enek, 40, the decrease of the productivity is caused by the lack of the transportation that links crop producing areas to the markets.
She also attributes to it the lack of skilled labor and the little investment the government has been doing in the sector. “The government should help educate the farmers on new farming strategies, ” explains Enek, stating that the sector depends on how skillful the workers are.
Enek concluded by saying that that agriculture is the backbone of every nation. “It must be helped vividly.”




Sports Field




Voltarians also have the “spirit” of good football



By Dickson Hayi



Since an incredible match I have witnessed last September in Ho, I can proudly say that voltarians also have the spirit to play great football.
The galley match was organized by the chiefs of Asogli state as part of the regional Yam Festival Celebration. I wish you were there to witness the event and then understand that Volta Region also has talent! The most celebrated players were Norni, Eli, Dedem Alogba, Agbana and Rasta. There were many of them, but these were certainly the ones that were on the people’s mouth.
Ghanaians forget that Cameroon star player, Samuel Lto’o was also a voltarian. And what about the Ghanaians “Iron Strikers” Junior Agogo and Haminu Dramani? Also voltarians! The first and second places of the MTN Soccer Academy were also from Volta!
But we lack sponsorship and it seems like the Ghana Football Association (GFA) does not have the courage to bet on the voltarians. So we are begging to our Chiefs and those others who can to help our players. We must make the GFA see and invest in our voltarians!




It's Politics!




People in Lome support the NPP candidate, Dr. Lestsa



Investment in education is his main concern



By Dzakumah Godwin Noamesi



Last Thursday, on the 30th October, the Chief and people of Lome traditional area, a suburb of Ho Central, in the Volta Region, welcomed with enthusiasm the National Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary candidate Dr. Archibald Yao Lestsa.
Since 1983, Dr. Lestsa has been working as a doctor and now, moved by the wish to bring development to the Volta Region, has decided to venture into politics.
In his speech delivered to the people present at the event, if elected, he promised to address the local issues and to bring development at large for the area. “I will provide a tarred road to the Capital city, Ho, to improve business transactions,” stated the candidate, hoping to have Nana Akuffo (NPP) as his president and partner.
He stressed that education is one of the most important elements for the development of a nation. “Free education is a step in the right direction,” explained, pointing out that if he is elected, the school feeding programme will be extended.
Also as a major project, in a collaborative effort with other parliamentarians from the area, the candidate wishes to bring a public university to Volta Region.
Dr. Lessa addressed the youth, saying that if elected he will battle against unemployment by localizing small-scale industries for the young people to engage in. He also hopes to provide resource centres to keep the youth away from crime.
Another of his great concerns is guaranteeing access to high quality health services in the region. “We shall do all it takes to bring to our doorstep good services in health,” promised Dr. Lestsa.
Finally, the Chief at Lome addressed its people that other political parties should be respected and listened to. He recommended that riots and provocations so that peace and tranquility prevail in December’s election.
Dr. Lestsa was accompanied by high profile members of the party, his campaign manager and the Financial Secretary of the Ho Central Constituency, Mr. Daniel Jekpodoe.




All about RSH



People living with Aids must seek early treatment

By Innocent Akorli

“To fight HIV, the infected person needs to seek early treatment. The anti-retroviral drugs can work,” states the research fellow on the topic, Dr. Danso, from Volta Region.
According to him, Aids is an abbreviation for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, which is caused by the Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV).The virus first attacks the immune system, blocking the body’s defence against other diseases, like tuberculosis, for example. People cannot die from Aids. People die from the other diseases that the body is unable to fight.
“Aids has no cure but with the introduction of various anti-retroviral drugs one can live longer with the virus if he or she seeks early medical intervention”, explains Dr. Danso.
The upcoming of new drugs will probably make an impact on the high HIV prevalence rates in the country. Statistics shows that its prevalence in Ghana is 3.4% and about 90% of those affected are between the ages of 15 to 49 years old.
He said that Aids was first diagnosed in the United States of America (USA) BY local scientists and was first detected in Ghana in the year of 1986 and since then has become a constant in the country.
Currently, for the disease to be diagnosed, one need to go through voluntary counselling and testing (VCT).
Mr. Danso advised the youth is to avoid casual sex and be faithful to their partners. “They must also insist on the use of sterilised syringes and needles anytime they visit the hospital,” added the doctor.
He explained that the virus is transmitted through unprotected sex with an infected partner, sharing needles and syringes without sterilisation and blood transfusion from an infected person. Also pregnant women can transmit the virus to their children and also while breastfeeding.
He concluded by urging us to show love and compassion to people living with Aids.


Opinion Corner




Stop female circumcision

By Regina Agbeko

Female circumcision (FC) or Female Genital Mutilation involves the cutting or removal of the external genitals of girls and young women as a rite of passage into womanhood.

In some cultures it consists on the removal of the hood of the clitoris, or all the clitoris or the inner lips of the vagina. In Ghana, over 15% of the female population has undergone one of these procedures.

The FC has serious consequences on the woman’s health. It can lead to extreme and continuous pain on the genital area, infection, difficulties during childbirth and several sexual problems.

Since 2001, the World Health Organization condemns the practice. In most countries it is considered a crime against a woman’s freedom and self-being.


It is time for it to stop. Organizations and some governments are trying to promote a symbolic cut that would only represent the practice, without jeopardizing the genital system. That can be a good way to avoid ruining a girl’s life forever.




Drugs are not a good way to escape the harshness of life



By Delali Ahiatrogah



Lately drug Abuse has become a problem among the youth because of different reasons – from peer influence, curiosity to trying to forget problems or reducing feelings of failure and pain.
Considering that drugs are anything that changes our perception and the way our body and mind works, alcohol and tobacco and even paracetamol are drugs present in and affecting our youth.
According to a doctor, who is a friend of mine, any substance should only be taken with the prescription and directions of a health worker. He told me that some could affect people’s learning ability and memory. Most of all, drugs can lead into bad judgment and really strong lack of concentration.
The youth must understand that drugs bring a lot of problems to a person’s life and it is the media responsibility to make them aware.
Young people must remember to be true to themselves and not be fooled by what people say. Even though peers might try to convince them that drugs are a good way to escape, life gets harder once they become addicted. It only makes their problems more serious.
Young people should stay focus on living a healthy life and concentrate into a better future.




Unwanted pregnancy also affects young people



By Courage Agrompah



Young people are not safe from unwanted pregnancy. This phenomenon – called teenage pregnancy – is more common than we think and it can affect a young person’s life in many ways.
It is very common for young people to have sex without any form of contraception and ending up getting pregnant and having to face many problems because of that.
Girls either have their babies and become young mothers or go through unsafe abortions that in many cases can lead them to health problems and death.
The boys also go through a lot of trouble. They have to go look for money to support the new family. He faces either having to steal or run away from the responsibility.
Young people must start using contraceptives or stop having sex without reason.




Syphilis; is it still a threat?

By Etornam Kornu

According to the Oxford dictionary, Syphilis, is an infectious disease passed from one person to another through sexual contact with an infected person. Unborn babies can also acquire it from an infected parent through birth. It is caused by a bacteria whose nickname is ‘haircut’ or ‘bad blood’. Its early signs include painless sores which develop around the sex organs in both male and females, rashes on the body and soles of the feet, headache and cold.
These signs and symptoms disappear in about 5 weeks but the virus remains in the body causing harm to internal delicate organs, such as the heart, brain and the sex organs. This can gradually develop into stroke, blindness and even death.
Well, the good news I have for you is that syphilis can be treated if the person seeks early treatment.
But, as people say, prevention is better than cure. I therefore advice anyone who detect any of the above signs or symptoms to seek early medical advice to prevent further damages from occurring. The recent introduction of certain antibiotics has also reduced its spreading rate.
The best way is to avoid the disease and other sexually transmitted infections. So, you should stick to one partner, avoid irresponsible sex and always use a condom when you have sex.




Enternteinment




GOSSIP! GOSSIP! GOSSIP!

Kalyppo fight!

By Courage Afashime

On Tuesday 11th November 2008, at 7pm promptly two ladies were struggling over a Kalyppo at the activity room 2 in the Lady Volta Resource Centre, located in Ho.
Based on my interviews they were given one Kalyppo each for refreshments during a journalism lecture. But this two particular ladies were requesting for more than one with the view that one wasn’t enough for them.

So they were struggling over the rest of the Kalyppo until the facilitator took them away. My final question was: Why struggling over Kalyppo and not biscuits? And guess the expression on their faces… they looked very sad but pretended to smile.

NOTE: I’m very interested in what people do. So, if you have anything that I can gossip on, contact me personally on 02067938889. It’s very confidential!!!!

Catch you later! Cause I have another hot gossip to catch up with!




JOKE
By Maxwel Edem Dogbey

A reporter interviewing a 104 year old woman asked; what do you think is the best thing being 104? “No peer pressure she replied”.


POETRY

A TRUE FRIEND



A true friend is not just a friend; but one who is there till the end.
A true friend is not just for a time; but for all time.
A true friend understands emotions and so stays through all situations
A true friend is part of every storm and so is comforted in every form
A true friend sees distance; not a loss of contact but as a movement of concern, in every instance.
Who is your true friend?





CONTACT US: theinformer-ghana@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

at 7:32 AM Labels: , , , Posted by THE INFORMER 0 comments

As part of the project, the young journalists are being trained in basic journalistic skills, a broad overview that discuss from how to do proper interviews up to what is or should be the ethic code for the media workers. 

As an example, the youth received a handout specially made for them. The language is simple and clear. Even though some topics might seem too hard to be understood, specially in the ghanaian context, the educator is trying hard to make them work (make sense) in the local context. 
The handouts can be easily adapted for other cultures and social-economic sceneries. 

That being said, here it goes!

LADY VOLTA RESOURCE CENTRE

RSH, Journalism and Creative Writing Club

Basic Rules & Advices For Writing as a Journalist

 

In general terms, Journalism is the profession of writing or communicating for the benefit of a particular community of people.

The writer or journalist is expected to use facts to describe events, ideas, or issues that are relevant to the public.

Radio and television reporters often compose stories and report "live" from the scene. Some journalists also interpret the news or offer opinions and analysis to readers, viewers, or listeners. In this role, they are called commentators or columnists.

How does the process works?

In a print publication, the first phase of presenting a story finds the reporter involved in investigation, observation of events, research on the topic and interviews with people.

Reporters take notes and also take photographs or shoot videos, eit

her on their own, or through a photographer or camera person.

In the second phase, they organize the material, determine the focus or emphasis (identify the peg), and finally write their stories.

The story is then edited by news or copy-editors, who function from the news desk.

The headline of the story is always decided by the news desk, and p

ractically never by the reporter or the writer of the piece.

Often, the news desk also heavily re-writes or changes the style and tone of the first draft prepared by the reporter / writer originally.

Finally, a collection of stories that have been picked for the newspaper or magazine edition, are laid out on dummy (trial) pages, and after the chief editor has approved the content, style and language in the material, it is sent for publishing.

The writer is given a byline for the piece that is published; his or her name appears alongside the article.

News can be published in a variety of formats (broadsheet, tabloid, magazine and periodical publications) as well as periods (daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly).

 

Therefore the process consists of the following stages. Each stage has a different responsible person controlling it.

The process:

Opening meeting – when the “news room” decides what will be on the edition

INVESTIGATION - Reporter

INTERVIEW - Reporter

WRITING – Reporter

EDITING – Copy – Editor, editor (in this process, the editor adds the headlines or correct the headline made by the reporter)

REVIEWING – reviewer

DIAGRAMMING – designer and editor

PUBLISHING - publishing company

 

RULES FOR WRITING!

In journalism, the information is reported using the inverted pyramid model. The main information goes on the 1st paragraph of your text, while the least important goes on the bottom.

Usually the first paragraph answers 6 main questions about the event/ fact/ subject your article is about:

Who?

What?

Where?

When?

How?

Why?

This paragraph is called the “LEAD”. It is called lead because it is the paragraph that will lead/ conduct your text.

Sometimes the “how” is implicit in the text and other times the “how” and the “what” are the same thing.

****

When writing in journalistic style, you have to be CONCISE and PRECISE. For that remember:

 - Do not use many adjectives;

-  Use SIMPLE and OBJECTIVE words, sentences and structures;

-  Always, when quoting someone for the FIRST time on your text, state the person’s full name and title. Ex: “….”, says the former UN president, Kofi Annan;

-  When using an acronym for the FIRST time you have to write down what the acronym means. Ex: The UNFPA is the United Nations Fund for Populations. So, in your text you should write, for example, “according to the United Nations Fund for Populations (UNFPA), the …”;

-  Then, for the following quotes of the same person or repetition of the acronyms, you must state only the persons last name and the acronym. Ex: “….”, said Annan, reassuring the UNFPA position;

-  Using poll and research results is always a good idea to back up your ideas;

-  Avoid using slangs and expressions that are too regional;

-  BE ON TIME! For the interviews and TO HAND YOUR FINAL PRODUCT!


Let’s look at an example of a local journalistic text:

96% Ghanaian-Americans in favour of Obama ------headline or "hed"

Only 50% are likely to vote -------- deck or "dek"

An overwhelming 96 per cent of Ghanaian-Americans will vote for Democratic presidential nominee (first reference) Senator Barack Obama, however only 50% of "Boggas" are likely to vote in Tuesday’s US elections, an opinion poll suggests.

The Graphic Ghana (GHP) (acronym) Poll found 96 per cent of those surveyed back Obama, while 1 per cent say they would vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin and 3 per cent were undecided or unwilling to to say.

The poll was conducted Sept. 22 to Nov. 2 by telephone with 63 registered likely Ghanaian-American voters.

The survey also shows that only 50 percent of Ghanaian-Americans are likely to vote in Tuesday’s US elections, compared with 82% among Japanese-Americans, 73% among Indian-Americans and 72% among Korean-Americans and 67% among the Filipio-Americans. (poll data)

Pollsters were not able to confirm if those polled were really citizens and thus had a right to vote

The Ghanaian-American community has grown from 65,700 people in 2000 to close to 80,000 in 2005, according to the US Census Bureau .

                                                                                    Source: GHP

 

Principles & Ethics 

Over time journalists have developed nine core principles to meet the task.

They comprise what might be described as the theory of journalism:

 

1. JOURNALISM'S FIRST OBLIGATION IS TO THE TRUTH

Democracy depends on citizens having reliable, accurate facts put in a meaningful context. Journalism does not pursue truth in an absolute or philosophical sense, but it can--and must--pursue it in a practical sense. This "journalistic truth" is a process that begins with the professional discipline of assembling and verifying facts. Then journalists try to convey a fair and reliable account of their meaning, valid for now, subject to further investigation. Journalists should be as transparent as possible about sources and methods so audiences can make their own assessment of the information. Even in a world of expanding voices, accuracy is the foundation upon which everything else is built--context, interpretation, comment, criticism, analysis and debate. The truth, over time, emerges from this forum. As citizens encounter an ever greater flow of data, they have more need--not less--for identifiable sources dedicated to verifying that information and putting it in context.

2. ITS FIRST LOYALTY IS TO CITIZENS

While news organizations answer to many constituencies, including advertisers and shareholders, the journalists in those organizations must maintain allegiance to citizens and the larger public interest above any other if they are to provide the news without fear or favor. This commitment to citizens first is the basis of a news organization's credibility, the implied covenant that tells the audience the coverage is not slanted for friends or advertisers. Commitment to citizens also means journalism should present a representative picture of all constituent groups in society. Ignoring certain citizens has the effect of disenfranchising them. The theory underlying the modern news industry has been the belief that credibility builds a broad and loyal audience, and that economic success follows in turn. In that regard, the business people in a news organization also must nurture--not exploit--their allegiance to the audience ahead of other considerations.

3. ITS ESSENCE IS A DISCIPLINE OF VERIFICATION

Journalists rely on a professional discipline for verifying information. When the concept of objectivity originally evolved, it did not imply that journalists are free of bias. It called, rather, for a consistent method of testing information--a transparent approach to evidence--precisely so that personal and cultural biases would not undermine the accuracy of their work. The method is objective, not the journalist. Seeking out multiple witnesses, disclosing as much as possible about sources, or asking various sides for comment, all signal such standards. This discipline of verification is what separates journalism from other modes of communication, such as propaganda, fiction or entertainment. But the need for professional method is not always fully recognized or refined. While journalism has developed various techniques for determining facts, for instance, it has done less to develop a system for testing the reliability of journalistic interpretation.

4. ITS PRACTITIONERS MUST MAINTAIN AN INDEPENDENCE FROM THOSE THEY COVER

Independence is an underlying requirement of journalism, a cornerstone of its reliability. Independence of spirit and mind, rather than neutrality, is the principle journalists must keep in focus. While editorialists and commentators are not neutral, the source of their credibility is still their accuracy, intellectual fairness and ability to inform--not their devotion to a certain group or outcome. In our independence, however, we must avoid any tendency to stray into arrogance, elitism, isolation or nihilism.

5. IT MUST SERVE AS AN INDEPENDENT MONITOR OF POWER

Journalism has an unusual capacity to serve as watchdog over those whose power and position most affect citizens. The Founders recognized this to be a rampart against despotism when they ensured an independent press; courts have affirmed it; citizens rely on it. As journalists, we have an obligation to protect this watchdog freedom by not demeaning it in frivolous use or exploiting it for commercial gain.

6. IT MUST PROVIDE A FORUM FOR PUBLIC CRITICISM AND COMPROMISE

The news media are the common carriers of public discussion, and this responsibility forms a basis for our special privileges. This discussion serves society best when it is informed by facts rather than prejudice and supposition. It also should strive to fairly represent the varied viewpoints and interests in society, and to place them in context rather than highlight only the conflicting fringes of debate. Accuracy and truthfulness require that as framers of the public discussion we not neglect the points of common ground where problem solving occurs.

7. IT MUST STRIVE TO MAKE THE SIGNIFICANT INTERESTING AND RELEVANT

Journalism is storytelling with a purpose. It should do more than gather an audience or catalogue the important. For its own survival, it must balance what readers know they want with what they cannot anticipate but need. In short, it must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant. The effectiveness of a piece of journalism is measured both by how much a work engages its audience and enlightens it. This means journalists must continually ask what information has most value to citizens and in what form. While journalism should reach beyond such topics as government and public safety, a journalism overwhelmed by trivia and false significance ultimately engenders a trivial society.

8. IT MUST KEEP THE NEWS COMPREHENSIVE AND PROPORTIONAL

Keeping news in proportion and not leaving important things out are also cornerstones of truthfulness. Journalism is a form of cartography: it creates a map for citizens to navigate society. Inflating events for sensation, neglecting others, stereotyping or being disproportionately negative all make a less reliable map. The map also should include news of all our communities, not just those with attractive demographics. This is best achieved by newsrooms with a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. The map is only an analogy; proportion and comprehensiveness are subjective, yet their elusiveness does not lessen their significance.

9. ITS PRACTITIONERS MUST BE ALLOWED TO EXERCISE THEIR PERSONAL CONSCIENCE

Every journalist must have a personal sense of ethics and responsibility--a moral compass. Each of us must be willing, if fairness and accuracy require, to voice differences with our colleagues, whether in the newsroom or the executive suite. News organizations do well to nurture this independence by encouraging individuals to speak their minds. This stimulates the intellectual diversity necessary to understand and accurately cover an increasingly diverse society. It is this diversity of minds and voices, not just numbers, that matters.

In 1997, an organization then administered by PEJ, the Committee of Concerned Journalists, began a national conversation among citizens and news people to identify and clarify the principles that underlie journalism. After four years of research, including 20 public forums around the country, a reading of journalism history, a national survey of journalists, and more, the group released a Statement of Shared Purpose that identified nine principles. These became the basis for The Elements of Journalism, the book by PEJ Director Tom Rosenstiel and CCJ Chairman and PEJ Senior Counselor Bill Kovach. Here are those principles, as outlined in the original Statement of Shared Purpose.

  Source: Elements of Journalism

Now it is your turn! Can you think of a 10th principle?

 

Exercise

 

Man Chopped To Pieces like “corned beef”

Joseph Agyeman Atta, a 25-year-old worker of Suhuma Timber Company Limited at Dwinase near Sefwi-Wiawso in the Western Region, who was allegedly chopped to pieces last Tuesday by a veneer Hogger milling machine he was operating, has been buried. According to information gathered by Daily Guide newspaper, which was corroborated by the Sefwi-Wiawso Police, there was a huge hole where plywood passed to the Hogger milling machine for processing into sawdust for power generation.

On that fateful day of 13th October, 2008, it was gathered that Atta was operating the Hogger machine alone as was the routine at the factory’s premises, while another worker was at the other end. The worker at the receiving end of the milling machine observed that the incoming sawdust was abnormal because it was a mixture of blood and something akin to “corned beef”. He immediately alerted the company’s management who went to where Atta was supposed to be operating the machine from, but he was nowhere to be found. They then examined the sawdust and realized that it was actually mixed with something that looked like human blood and flesh that had been chopped to pieces, which made the company’s management lodge a report with the police.

The police therefore came to the scene and took samples of the “mixed sawdust substance” into a sack and sent it to the Sefwi-Wiawso Government Hospital for examination. When Dr. Brobbey, Medical Superintendent at the Hospital was contacted on phone, he told Daily Guide that he identified some ground finger, human flesh and blood mixed with sawdust. "It was flesh, blood and sawdust ground up. It was bad," Dr. Brobbery said.

The relatives of Atta were then called in and informed about the development, after which they took the sack containing the “mixed sawdust substance” for burial. According to DSP Joseph Anneh, Sefwi-Wiawso District Police Commander the Police were carrying out large-scale investigation into the case.

Among the indigenes of Sefwi Wiawso and Dwinase however, it was believed that Atta’s mysterious death was the handiwork of the gods of the river near Suhuma Timber Company. ome of the people, particularly the traditionalists, indicated that ever since Gliksten Ghana Limited was handed over to Suhuma Timber Company Limited, the current management had not sacrificed even a cock to the river god beside the factory, though the former company performed the necessary rites annually through the fetish priest. A native of Sefwi-Wiawso therefore told the Daily Guide newspaper that the god’s were angry and therefore used Atta as a "sacrificial lamp" and that unless the company pacified the gods, more workers would die later.

                                                                                                 Source: Daily Guide

1. Read the text carefully.

2. Find the Lead paragraph and answer the 6 questions.

3.  Find who are the sources the reporter interviewed.

4. Do you like the headline? What would be another possible one?

5. In which “desk” does this article belongs?

6. Can you create a "dek" (or deck) for this story?

7. Is this hard news or soft news? Is this a feature? Why?

8. Now it is your turn. Rewrite this article using only 2 paragraphs.


Bibliography:

The independent media center (www.indymedia.org) 

Pew Reserach Centre for Excellence in Journalism (www.journalism.org)

Cromwell, Clarence.The Four Commandments of Citizen Journalism, 2008. Article Base. (www.articlebase.com) 

Kovach, B. and Rosenstiel, T. Elements of Journalism, 2007. (www.journalism.org)