EU Hires Journalists for Impact Awareness

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The selected four candidates from Liberia are Saywhar Nana Gbaa, Andia Varba Richardson, Edward Blamo, and Augustine Bill Kollie. Their four European counterparts are Beatriz Rios Yaguez from Spain, Christina Nordvang Jensen from Denmark, Fermin Torrano from Spain and Sonia Wargacka from Poland.

— Information Minister Nagbe urges eight young media professionals

The European Union Delegation to Liberia has identified and selected four Liberian journalists with four others from Europe to tour Liberia and highlight its activities across the country.  The project under the theme, “EU-Liberia Partnership Campaign,” will allow the journalists to travel into the counties to identify EU’s projects and interview beneficiaries, and report findings on the radio, television, social media and in the newspapers.

The EU believes that it is engaged in life building activities in Liberia including Agriculture, Fisheries, Education, and road maintenance among others, but publicity about its activities has been scanty.

The selected four candidates from Liberia are Saywhar Nana Gbaa, Andia Varba Richardson, Edward Blamo, and Augustine Bill Kollie. Their four European counterparts are Beatriz Rios Yaguez from Spain, Christina Nordvang Jensen from Denmark, Fermin Torrano from Spain and Sonia Wargacka from Poland.

Their reports will focus on five thematic areas: Forestry, Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Agriculture, Budget Support, and the Civil Society Initiative.

Recently, the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Liberia, in collaboration with the Government of Liberia through its National Authorizing Office (NAO) of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, announced the selection of eight young media professionals from Europe and Liberia to participate in a month-long campaign.

A total of 50 applications were received; out of these, 26 applications were fully compliant with the announced procedures. A vetting committee evaluated the applications based on the quality of contents submitted.

EU Ambassador to Liberia, Hélèn Cavé said the union is pleased with its partnership with the Liberian government.

Ambassador Cavé said the EU is using the multi-sectorial approach to develop road, energy infrastructure, and gender empowerment, among others.

She said: “We have jointly taken on this initiative to show the impact of the European Development Fund support in Liberia, and to enhance the understanding of the EU-Liberia partnership in all its dimensions.

“First of all, I must say congratulations to all of you 8 selected Young Media Professionals. We received many applications and it was a competitive selection process. You have been selected to participate in this EU-funded project as an outcome of your expertise, innovation, and engagement proven in the application process. I am happy that for once, we have a positive gender issue!!”

“We have diverse groups of Young Professionals, coming from different parts of Europa-from North to South-as well as from different parts across Liberia.

“I am confident in your different experiences and backgrounds that will be very inspiring and enriching; for yourselves, as Young Media Professionals, as well as for Europeans and Liberians hearing and reading your stories. I hope that your stories will allow Liberia to be painted more positively outside as it is the case so far. Liberia deserves attention; Liberia has a lot to offer.”

In all these areas, she said, “we have significant investments to support good governance, empower communities and improve business, in our commitment to support Liberia in its efforts towards sustainable livelihood and long-term development.

“Liberia has a large and vibrant young population. Young people are not just the future but also the promises for today. This is also why we put the emphasis on hearing the stories of our engagement through the ears and eyes of our dynamic youth.”

Meanwhile, Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe has urged the eight young media professionals to uphold the ‘profession’ and ethical standards of journalism.

Minister Nagbe, who spoke on Monday, February 24, 2020, at the official launch of the EU-Liberia partnership campaign for Young Media Professionals, encouraged the eight and energetic young media professionals to always set a standard and uphold professionalism in their reportage.

He said: “The job of a professional journalist is difficult but it is guarded by the ethical requirements and the professional rules. There is no one denying that the media is a very powerful institution, so it is always an honor whenever one gets an opportunity to speak to media professionals to advised them to do the right reportage.”

Delivering his keynote address, the Information Minister further admonished the beneficiaries to ensure the content of their work and must portray a positive image of their countries and the EU.

EU Ambassador Hélèn Cavé (center): “We have diverse groups of Young Professionals, coming from different parts of Europa-from North to South-as well as from different parts across Liberia.

He said with this fundamental responsibility, “Go out and be ambassadors of your countries; it is also stated that all of us who use the media are the shapers of the society, we can vandalize the society, we can brutalize it, or we can help to lift it to a higher level,” he told the beneficiaries.”

Minister Nagbe also used the occasion to congratulate all the beneficiaries on their selection by the European Union Office to be among the first to charge with this worthy development and responsibility to high light developments in Liberia.

The Deputy National Authorizing Officer (NAO), Attorney Martus W. Bangalu, said that the EU financial support to Liberia is extremely valuable to the country as it drives and strengthens to deal with multiple development challenges as well as helping citizens to move towards a more resilient nation.

The beneficiaries lauded the EU for their selection and promised to uphold and tell the human interest of a story as they see them. According to them, the program will provide them with more knowledge and understanding of the work and EU and challenges faced by communities in rural Liberia.

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