The Lutheran Development Service (LDS) has trained community-based journalists and some of their field co-workers in capacity building, advocacy and elections coverage in Bong and Lofa counties.
The training which was held in Zorzor, Lofa County was attended by journalists from the Voice of Reconciliation in Palala, Kpaii District, Bong County as well as the Alternative Radio and Radio Life in Zorzor, Lofa County.
The training, which took place last month, was also attended by LDS field workers from Kpaii District, Bong County and Salayea District in Lofa County.
LDS project manager Sam Flomo said the training was part of efforts by the entity to build the capacity of journalists to professionally cover the October 10 presidential and representative elections.
The training, which was conducted under the LDS Integrated Community Empowerment Project, brought together journalists from nine community radio stations, including eight community members.
The LDS, Mr. Flomo said, believes the media has a crucial role in maintaining the peace by the professional manner in which they will cover the elections.
He said that the October 10 elections is a critical turning point in the history of the country and is therefore important for the media to maintain the public’s trust, adding that such can only be done if journalists are trained in elections reporting.
Flomo explained that the LDS is interested in the peaceful conduct of the upcoming elections, and will henceforth continue to work with its partners including the media to ensure its objectives are achieved.
The workshop, which was facilitated by Clarence Jackson, editor-in-chief of Radio Gbarnga and regional coordinator of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), spoke on the topics ‘Elections Reporting’ and the ‘PUL’s Guidelines for Elections Coverage.’
The LDS field workers were also taught the various methods of advocacy including advocacy techniques, risk of advocacy and the role of the community.
The journalists and LDS field workers were also trained on how to use social media effectively to impact their work in the various communities.
The workshop also discussed the County and Social Development Funds and what role can the media play in ensuring the two funds benefit the various counties.
Participants, meanwhile, commended the LDS for organizing the workshop, which they described as ‘timely.’
For most of them, it was an eye opener especially the coverage of the elections on Election Day, and best practices in reporting election results.
“I want to commend the LDS for organizing this training that has taught as so much about elections coverage,” Prince Mulbah from Radio Life said.
Participants walked away with digital tape recorders, note pads and pens that were donated to them by the LDS.
The project is being sponsored and funded by the Church of Sweden (COS).