Monrovia 31st January 2017: Some fifty students from five schools in Buchanan, Grand Bassa county over the weekend received training in basic journalism skills and ethics as part of a UNESCO funded press club empowerment initiative.
Schools that benefited from the one-day training at the weekend included Bassa High, SDA High school, Brumskine High school, Open Bible, and United Methodist High.
The training accommodated English language tutors from the various schools who will be supervisors of the students in producing content for a proposed newspaper and routine radio production.
CEMESP Executive Director Malcolm W. Joseph in an opening session overview of the project entreated the high school students to attach seriousness to the initiative, “as it would lead to the charting of future career in professional journalism.”
He said the project is an elevation of partnership forged between CEMESP and UNESCO in promoting freedom of expression in Liberia.
Key topics covered included newsgathering and reporting, ethics and PUL code of practice, writing for radio and communications skills.
The students were pretested in terms of their expectation and level of understanding of what it means to be a journalist, something that guided the trainers, CEMESP Head of Programs, Albert Baron Ansu and Frank Sainworla of the Public Trust Media to configure the training content in sync with the level of the participants.
CEMESP under this project has provided writing materials in notebooks and pens, cartoons of rims of sheets, among other things that these students would use to embark on practical newsgathering, reporting and production of contents for the proposed newspaper edition and routine radio hours via community radios in Buchanan.
CEMESP Executive Director Malcolm W Joseph also disclosed that there are plans to supply micro recorders for each of the school press clubs to enhance interviews in newsgathering.
The concluded Buchanan training is going to be replicated to other schools in Monrovia, as part of efforts in reawakening the dormant press clubs in Liberia.
The National Commission of UNESCO under the Ministry of Education is of the view that well-meaning institutions and individuals in especially strengthening the weak communication skills of students in Liberian high schools will support this effort.
CEMESP comes to this project with an assumption that other students would indirectly be impacted based on the planned circulation and content dissemination of the targeted press clubs’ deliverable as envisaged in the proposed newspaper and weekend radio programs.