The Peter Quaqua School of Journalism (PQSJ), run by the MediaAid Foundation, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Alternative Youth Radio (AYR) in Zorzor, Lofa County to train its on-air staffers.
The signing ceremony, which was held late last week at the offices of PQSJ in Monrovia, observed the combination of expertise of two United States Exchange fellows partnering to produce trained journalists in Lofa County.
James Kwabo is a US Exchange Fellow under the Mandela-Washington Fellowship, while Titus Tokpah is a Fellow of the US International Visitor’s Leadership Program-IVLP respectively.
Titus Tokah, PQSJ Executive Director, told reporters that the agreement signed by the two institutions will ensure that AYR pays 40-percent of the tuition and fees for the selected radio staffers, while the remaining 60-percent would be raised through a joint project proposal.
“At the end of the program, we will be providing a diploma that covers both print and electronic media to enable them to provide quality journalism in that part of the country. He hoped that this agreement will be able to benefit reporters in that part of the country,” Tokaph said.
He said the MOU calls for the training of seven (7) staff of the AYR by the PQSJ beginning next training semester in November this year to improve their knowledge in different topics relating to Mass Communication.
Tokpah disclosed that AYR staff stand to improve their knowledge of mainstream journalism, increase ties between both entities, and provide networking opportunities with other colleagues, among others.
James Kwabo, AYR Chief Executive Officer, said the MOU is all about two young people coming together to professionalize the practices of Journalism in rural communities, adding that many young journalists in the rural parts of the country do not have access to media training.
Kwabo said the institution will be able to fund its staff from the resources generated from operations to educate them so that after the training, they will be able to serve the AYR for two years.
“We are taking people with the spirit of coming back to serve and we are also hoping that, in the next two or three years, we will have more than ten young people enrolled at the PQSJ to get a diploma in Communication. After they have come to serve for about two years, we can sponsor them to get a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. It is all about building the capacities of young people,” he noted.
He disclosed that his facility will provide internship opportunities for PQSJ students as part of the partnership.