-Trains 20 Journalists in specialized elections reporting
Internews chief of party, Lien Bach, has called on journalists to conduct themselves professionally to promote free, fair, and transparent elections during the December 8 special senatorial and referendum elections.
Madam Bach speaking at six-day specialized elections reporting training for journalists organized by Internews under the Liberia Media Development program with support from the United States of Agency for International Development (LMD-USAID) said the training is a very important ‘flagship’ activity of the election reporting program.
The training brought together twenty journalists from across Liberia to be trained in reporting high-quality election stories that will promote free, fair, and transparent elections.
The program seeks to strengthen media capacity and empower journalists to effectively monitor the December 2020 elections and referendum and produce fact-based objective reports that resonate with the electorate to promote free and fair elections.
It is also intended to teach specialized skills to promote conflict-sensitive reporting, enabling journalists to recognize early signs of conflict and the importance of truth-telling on conflict and improve journalists’ political and electoral literacy in a Liberian context while promoting the people, processes, parties, and places (4P) concept.
Participants in the training are both broadcast and print journalists that were recruited in early August by Internews through a fellowship that they applied for.
Madam Bach said the six-day training will have reporters trained in how to report on elections professionally and accurately.
Jefferson Massah, Internews Deputy Chief of Party, disclosed that the LMD-USAID program will also organize 19 senatorial debates and 19 community media forums engage first-time voters, adding that participating reporters will report on those debates as part of requirements for the fellowship.
He said it is the goal of the fellowship to see reporters who will be assigned to various mentors to produce stories on the elections extensively with high-quality news stories.
Massah informed participants that Internews has also hired three institutions, including the Center for Media Studies and Peace Building, the Female Journalists Association, and the Publishers Association of Liberia, to manage the fellowship and serve as assigned mentors.
“At the end of the training,” Massah disclosed, “The fellows will be assigned to mentors to guide them through the production of high-quality stories. Internews’ international media advisors will also do a final review of the articles before publication. Local Voices, an online news outlet, will publish all articles as well as the fellows’ own media institutions.”
The training also provides hackathon training for journalists educating them about the use of mobile applications for field journalistic reporting during elections.