YMA Launches First Journalism Manual for High School Press Clubs

By: Laymah Kollie

Sinkor-May 9,2023: Youth Media Action (YMA) with support from INTERNEWS in Liberia and USAID today launched Liberia’s first Youth Journalism Manual. The Manual comprises beginner lessons for young people in high schools who intend to endeavor into the journalism profession.

The training manual also provides a comprehensive training program that can be used by both the trainees and trainers. It uses participatory instructional techniques based on learning objectives and activities and serve as a resources for cub reporters and college level journalism students.

Speaking at the official launch, the Executive Director of Youth Media Action, Varmah Kamara outlined Challenges faced in the media by young media practitioners over the years as major reasons his team decided to develop this tool for upcoming journalists.

Mr. Kamara identified brain drained, capacity gap, gender mainstreaming and lack of creativity or specialization amongst others as challenges faced by the Liberian media which his organization tends to resolve through the training manual.

He stated that high school press clubs being a major root of Liberian Journalists, there is a need to have a guide that will help build beginners in the profession adequately.

“As a child broadcaster, we never had training materials or hand books, whenever there was training for us we would experience complex lessons because there was no particular manual to work with,” he asserted.
“In 2019, we recommended to Internews about a manual to guide high school press and they they accepted the request, which we are celebrating today; this is a milestone achievement”, Kamara added beaming with smiles.

According to the YMA Executive Director, the Manual is expected to be distributed to schools in the fifteenth counties of Liberia with an aim of establishing journalism as an elective in those schools.
“ This manual is designed in a way that it can be used by any teacher in journalism classes and the students themselves can easily be applied by students to enhance their skills” Varmah said.

He furthered that the ten-unit manual covers contents of relevant topics in journalism and can be adapted for an international audience while he encouraged lecturers in high schools to develop their lessons inline with the manual objectives for their personal presentations.

“The trainers are encouraged to adapt or develop exercises inline with the learning objectives as may be needed for their own presentations “ Varmah Kamara stressed.

Serving as the official launcher, INTERNEWS Liberia Chief of Party, Madam Lien Bach applauded Youth Media Action for the initiative done over the years to create a space where young boys and girls can learn to become professionals.
Madam Bach called on schools and those envisioning to join the profession to adequately used the manual in order to become professional Journalists.

“If you go through this manual you will be on top of the game, you will be a good journalist, “ he added.

“I will like to officially launch this manual that will be used by schools across Liberia and appreciate YMA for this achievement,” Madam Lien Bach, Internews Chief of Party concluded.

At the same time, Madam Olive Thomas of ECOWAS Radio who served as keynote speaker on behalf of ECOWAS Radio Coordinator, Madam Eva Flomo, admonished students to take the manual as their guide if they should be of good practices.
“ Take this manual as your guide and you will have no regret in the future,” Madam Olive Thomas asserted.

For his part, the president elect of the Press Union of Liberia, Mr. Daniel Nyankonah outlined the importance of training young people in the profession and cautioned high school press clubs to join the profession with passion while he pledged the PUL support to the process.
“It is good to start with these trainings when you are young, there is no other time that we need to pay attention to our young people then now,” he emphasized.
“PUL is here to offer her support whenever we are call upon,”Nyankonah stated.

Youth Media Action is a non-profit organization that seeks to build the capacity of young people in the media landscape.
Since it’s establishment 2016, the YMA and partners have worked to build the capacity of high school journalists by providing them with a firm practical grounding in journalism through training opportunities and media exposure intended to inspire media reforms. YMA currently operate in ten of Liberia’s fifteen Counties at the same time working with over forty High Schools in these areas.

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