The International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ), which is the leading global network of agricultural journalists and communicators based in Canada, has named Liberian journalist and development communications practitioner, Jefferson Massah to its visioning committee.
The committee comprising five outstanding agricultural and development journalists is tasked to develop a 5-year strategic vision and action plan for the IFAJ covering 2020-2025.
According to a release, the committee scope of work includes, reviewing the purpose of the IFAJ and aligning the vision to suit the needs of nations and individual members; addressing the key challenges and delivering to the needs of existing and new member countries.
IFAJ President, Owen Roberts, said the vision committee takes the pulse of the entity, and helps guide where it is headed, and it creates a roadmap outlining how in a practical fashion to move them forward.
“We have revisited the plan, checked in to see where we are at and how much we have accomplished, and now it’s time to reset our sights on what is important to IFAJ as we look toward to 2025,” Roberts said.
Chaired by British journalist Jane Craigie, other members of the IFAJ visioning committee include Pulack Ghatack (Bangladesh), Kurt Lawton (USA), and Jacqueline Wijbenga (The Netherlands). The committee work is already in progress, but will be finally presented at the IFAJ Congress in Minneapolis, USA in July, 2019.
“It is a real privilege and an honor to be appointed by the IFAJ Executive Committee as a member of its “Vision 2025” committee, especially being the lone African representation on the committee,’’ Massah said.
Mr. Massah has meanwhile promised to make a full representation of the African constituency of IFAJ by sharing with other committee members challenges confronting agricultural journalism in Africa, and how the IFAJ can be supportive to professional development activities of African journalists reporting on the agriculture sector.
In 2018, Jefferson Massah was the first Liberian journalist to attend the IFAJ Master Class program in The Netherlands. The class program provides opportunity for journalists to share experiences and thoughts on the critical role of the media in promoting agriculture development—particularly in developing countries where the media not only reports the successes of small-scale farmers, but also serves as a tool for educating farmers on best farming practices.
Massah is a 2015 recipient of the prestigious George Atkins Communications Award provided to African radio producers that exceptionally perform in meeting the information needs of smallholder farmers to alleviate poverty run by Farm Radio International, based in Ottowa, Canada.
He currently works with Internews Liberia as a senior community radio advisor under the Liberia Media Development program.