CEMESP, Partner Train Journalists on Conflict Sensitive Elections Reporting

By: Aminata S. Kromah

Monrovia- July 19,2023: The Center for Media Studies and Peace building ( CEMESP), with support from INTERNEWS USAID Liberia Media Activity Project, has begun a three (3) day intensive conflict sensitive elections reporting training for over twenty Liberian Journalists from different Counties. The training will be concluded on July 21, 2023.

The three days training is aimed at proving Journalists with the necessary information that they need to know during the pending October elections. The training considers fact-checking of information for public consumption from Journalists.

The training will also help improve gender lens and balance Journalists news content, which will also help to avoid Gender stereotyping while reporting and appreciate the benefits of achieving Gender balance in reporting.

It also focuses on increasing public awareness by Media outlets and educating the public on the voting process with focus mainly in the rural parts.

According to CEMESP, the training will improve the knowledge and skills of Liberian Journalists and strengthen their capacity to publish balance and credible information; to advocate for women’s Political Participation in decisions making including the 30 percent.

Remarking at the start of the training, INTERNEWS Senior Journalism Trainer Torwon Sulonteh Brown admonished Journalists to make maximum use of the knowledge acquired to produce factual coverage of election activities during the 2023 general and Presidential elections.

“We have all the best trainers, Mentors to drive you through and as for this training we will encourage you to network with your colleagues and other Professional Journalists here to provide the best coverage during this October general and Presidential elections.,” Torwon noted.

Also speaking, the independent Media trainer, Maureen Sieh noted that Journalists should be sure about what they reveal to the public to avoid Conflicts and chaos; noting that Journalists should prioritize the public interest.

“If you love Liberia, you cannot contribute to conflict and every word you use in your stories has the potential to cause harm and what you do as a Journalist you do not want to cause harm for your Country and People”.

Speaking on Media’s Power, Maureen Sieh cautioned Journalist to remain as a watch dog and reports stories that have greater impact on the People and how it affects them.

“If you choose to help your Country, focus on the issues you report and as a Journalist you are a watch dog to report stories that affect the People”.

She further lamented on issues that trigger insensitive election reporting including sharing fake information, badmouthing, the use of hate speeches against candidates , religions, ethnicity and gender, which play a pivotal role in triggering violence during elections.

Participants were drawn from Gbarpolu, Bomi, Cape Mount, Bong and Montserrado Counties.
Media practitioners from Print, Electronic, Broadcast and online are beneficiaries of this training.

Beneficiaries of this training are expected to practical use the training during and after the elections and receive mentorship and modest grants from Internews Liberia in order support their work.

Internews is an international non-profit organization dedicated to giving people the news and information they need, the ability to connect, and the means to make their voices heard.

Since the formation of INTERNEWS in 1982, they have worked in more than 100 Countries Worldwide while the Center for Media Studies and Peacebuilding (CEMESP) is a leading Media development and freedom of expression advocacy organization with its primary objectives to strengthen the work of Journalists and media managers thereby enhancing a free environment for the media in Liberia to thrive.

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