In Accra, Ghana, presidential election results are posted on a scoreboard

In Accra, Ghana, presidential election results are posted on a scoreboard

Having edited a number of publications in Ghana and led journalist organizations, Blay-Amihere is now chairman of the National Media Commission of Ghana

My last job before arriving in Cambridge in 1990 was editing The Independent, a four-page newspaper that earned the wrath of Ghana’s military government after only three issues. Newspaper licensing laws were re-introduced, sending the paper I founded into limbo until 1992 when the law was repealed.

Our year included many award-winning journalists from internationally acclaimed media, such as The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal and The Jerusalem Post. As we shared experiences through the Soundings, our colleagues from the West came to appreciate the sacrifices made by journalists from the Third World—Tony Eluemunor from Nigeria, Nanise Fifita from Tonga and Joseph Latakgomo from South Africa—and to respect our modest contributions to the struggle for democracy in our respective countries.

It was at Lippmann House that I first started using a computer, and the Nieman set me on the path of writing books: “Tears for a Continent,” a diary of my American experience, in 1994 and, most recently, “Praises: A Celebration of Life.” My Nieman year made me, as editor of The Independent, president of the Ghana Journalists Association and the West African Journalists Association, a better journalist and person with a broader vision and commitment to press freedom.

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