Barclays Bank Botswana, in conjunction with the Botswana Editor’s Forum, this week came together for a workshop to equip local journalists with the knowledge and analytical skills to practice better economic and business reporting.
Officially opening the workshop on Monday, Minister of Presidential Affairs, Mokgweetsi Masisi, pointed out that editors have a particular responsibility to protect freedom of expression by ensuring that it is not abused. He stated that in an era of globalization that is based on the flow of information, in a global economy where knowledge and innovation drive profits, business reporting should no longer be confined to back page advertorials.
“For our own country to continue to grow in an increasingly complex and competitive global marketplace, we need to wisen up and recognize our shared responsibility and trickle down beneficiaries of the given wealth,” said Masisi.
He added that the government appreciates the private press and that the government, like the private sector in the country, has its challenges. Masisi stated that it includes the relatively small market and the infancy of indigenous publishing and other media related activities.
He also pointed out that with the challenges, the media stakeholders should come together to constructively address their common challenges and opportunities.
“I am informed that local media are further constrained by a lack of adequate training and mentoring, which is due not only to underinvestment of human capital,” said Masisi.
He added that the media has a big role to play in moving the country forward when talking about advertising, visual production online communication and print publication. He added that without media there can be no marketing, without marketing there is no product appreciation and sales.
“The government will continue to welcome the existence of the forum as a vehicle for promoting professionalism within its own ranks as well as providing a leadership platform for interface with other stakeholders,” he stated.
For his part, the Chairman of the Botswana Editors’ Forum, Spencer Mogapi, observed that there is a shortage of business and finance reporters amongst the local media. He added that the Editor’s Forum will introduce an open door policy to allow engaging the government and other stakeholders.
“Financial institutions like Barclays Bank have been forth coming in assisting with such developmental training for the local media and I urge others to do the same,” said Mogapi.
The training was facilitated by Professor Nixon Kariithi from Tangaza Africa Media, University of Pretoria, who equipped journalists with skills on areas of understanding investment analysis, developing stories using investment data as well as advanced newsgathering techniques for business.