BBC/Reuters Reporter Interacts With Students and Staff
By Abdul-Latif Issahaku
Class of 2005
Ashesi's students, staff and faculty were thrilled to a memorable experience when they interacted with a BBC and Reuters' reporter, Kweku Sakyi-Addo, last semester. Mr. Sakyi-Addo, a fact unknown to many in our community, is a fellow of the influential African Leadership Initiative alongside Ashesi's President, Patrick Awuah. He was keen on seeing Ashesi grow to realize the vision of its founders. In his view, Ashesi is comparable to precious diamonds, "little things are precious, they are like diamonds." He indicated that the small size of Ashesi makes it easier to manage efficiently.
Mr. Sakyi-Addo has for ten years reported news from Ghana for the BBC's African Service, Network Africa and Focus-In-Africa. Described as one of the finest journalists in Ghana today, he prides himself with the privilege of working for the prestigious Reuters, the largest wire service. Explaining the role he plays at Reuters, he said Reuters is a wholesale agent that sells news to retailers such as radio stations, newspapers and corporate bodies. In Ghana, Reuters is interested in the economy and major political events that may affect the economy such as change in government with its accompanying policy changes. On a lighter note, he said, Reuters also shows interest in what he called "the odds: man bites dog" news.
In the late eighties, Mr. Sakyi-Addo worked for one of Ghana's premier news houses, the Ghana News Agency (GNA). He related with the audience that he resigned his position at GNA due to the fact that, at GNA "we always thought of one-directional situation." He implied that personal initiative was not encouraged. He also edited the Ghanaian Chronicle, a private newspaper in Ghana, for one year. The Ghanaian version of popular TV show CNN's 'Larry King on Hard Talk' is the brain-child of Kweku Sakyi-Addo. This program that attracts a lot of television viewers is captioned 'Kweku-One-On-One' that opens the avenue for Kweku to tactically extract presumably relevant information for public consumption from both high and low profile personalities who are featured on the program. Currently, Mr. Sakyi-Addo, hosts Frontpage, a current affairs program on JoyFM.
In an answer to a question, he cited the inverted pyramid style of news writing as a better way of news presentation; focusing on the order of importance. As a journalist, he believes two things are most critical: accepting personal responsibility for news reportage and credibility of the news item. In his closing remarks, he advised students in a few words "you need to believe in yourselves, dream big and chase them up, don't leave them hanging." Mr. Sakyi-Addo is a graduate of the University of Wales, Cardiff and the International Institute of Journalism, Berlin. He holds in addition a post-graduate diploma in journalism from the School of Communications, University of Ghana, Legon.