CEMESP Trains Journalists on Conflict-Sensitive Electoral Reporting

MONROVIA-The Center for Media Studies, and Peace-building (CEMESP) over the weekend concluded the training of 20 Journalists drawn from various Community Radio Stations, Print and Online Media Houses in Grand Bassa, Margibi, Sinoe, Grand Kru  , and Rivercess Counties.

Held in Buchanan City Grand Bassa County, the workshop on Conflict Sensitive Electoral Reporting aimed at strengthening the capacities of community radio reporters and editors to report on conflict issues in a well-researched, factual, and non-biased way that can contribute to dialogue, mutual understanding, and eventually reconciliation and peace.

Media Entities that benefited from Friday’s Training include, Radio Gbehzohn, Radio Dukpah, Ablejay Radio, Magic Radio, LACSA Radio, Voice of Wee, DCN Radio,  Rivercess Broadcasting System, Radio Kakata, Classic FM among others.

The Training funded by Opened Society Initiative for West Africa is an activity under a grant to CEMESP titled: ‘Building Institutional Resilience to Enhance Professional Media Coverage of the 2023 Elections in Liberia ”.

At the opening of the training workshop, Public Trust Media Group Managing Editor, Frank Sainworla told the participants it was necessary to be aware of what lies ahead as the “media has become an effective platform to contribute to the mitigation of conflicts during time of elections”

He said “the role of the journalist is to report the facts, nothing else but the facts being fully aware of the consequences of what lies ahead of what you report”.

Mr. Sainworla then urged the journalists to be considerate and professional and treat women candidates with high level of “sensitivity and care”.

The training covered topics on understanding the rules and procedures of election, the National Elections Commission migration to Biometric Voter’s Registration, the Election Reporting Code of Ethics, and Gender balance in Election Reporting.

Research-based Journalism and Storytelling, the rise of New Media, effective use of Peace music in Radio Production, Conflict Sensitive Reporting, and basic skills for interviewing politicians also formed part of the training.

CEMESP’s Program Associate- Wremongar Joe, who coordinated the Training remarked that “as Liberia moves towards the impactful realization of peace in the country, Journalists need to acquire adequate knowledge of conflict theories, as well as additional reporting skills and the analytical “know how” to be able to report accurately, impartially, safely and be gender sensitive within conflict situations”.

“The need for the attainment of peace in Liberia is not overemphasized and this must be reflected in the quality of journalism that will be supplied during the 2023 election and even after, he noted.”

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