Veteran Liberian Journalist, Hassan Kiawu, in collaboration with the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), has conducted a one-day media intensive and educative training in the areas of words articulation and pronunciation for journalists assigned at MICAT.
The training, according to Mr. Kiawu, is triggered by what he called a wrong pronunciation and articulation from some Liberian journalists, adding that in order to become a top notch journalist, a huge emphasis needs to be placed on good diction and pronunciation as well as good writing skills which are the pillars of quality journalism Liberians desire.
In a welcome remarks at the start of the training held Wednesday, the Minister of Information Ledgerhood J. Rennie thanked Mr. Kiawu for such a brilliant initiative and also encouraged journalists to wholeheartedly embrace the training which according to the MICAT Boss, is aimed at improving the skills of the journalists in spoken language and an improved and enhanced writing skills.
The MICAT Boss cautioned Liberian journalists to be critical of themselves by listening to themselves after performing their reportage.
He added that a reporter shouldn’t be complacent for the fact that he or she is receiving praises from the audience or listeners, saying that some of those listeners may not mean well for them; saying that they may accord by the audience by saying “we enjoyed you”, adding that the best thing to do is to be more critical of oneself because it will help to correct some of the mistakes journalists make in the reading of news and other activities.
“Learn new phrases, learn new words, improve your diction, improve your vocabularies, improve your writing because these are fundamentals or very important foundational tools for quality journalism, so if you master them, you master your tenses, your verbs, you are well on your way to become a top notch”, the minister asserted.
According to him, one of the things he often tell the young people is not to be ashamed to ask, saying that it is better to ask than to go on the air and make mistake, stressing that a journalist shouldn’t think that he or she knows all; referencing that they who have been in the profession for about 30 years down the road are still in their formative stage.
He said: “So, I always listen out to bigger networks. I am a follower of the BBC and CNN. I listen to all the different kinds of debate that they have and I learn from them time-to-time what some of the international Journalists will bring to the table. So, I acknowledge you to always make it your duty as a newscaster to record your newscast and listen to it”.
Minister Rennie further asserted that the brusher trainings are helpful and impactful, citing “Some of us where we are today didn’t just benefit from the academic training but also the brusher sessions at various media outlets that were organized from time-to-time are important because some that a person may not learn from university or other learning institution can be learnt from senior colleagues”.
Hassan Kiawu, who is an experienced Liberian journalist, lectured those in attendance on the perfect articulation and pronunciation of troublesome verbs or words which journalists find difficult to pronounce well; accordingly, Mr. Kiawu said that a quality journalism requires a perfect articulation, pronunciation, writing, and diction because he believes these are fundamental tools to become a top notch journalist.
He encouraged the trainees to take advantage of the knowledge being provided and should even go beyond implementing those knowledge at their various institutions to provide services in their communities whenever they see any issues that are needed to be resolved or should even call the attention of relevant authorities to get involved.
The veteran Liberian journalists expressed that ensuring Liberia gets better is everybody’s business, disclosing that he is not a politician, but believes in seeing Liberia getting better which, according to him, has encouraged him to engage in several pro bono works across the country.
Kiawu expressed the desire to see journalism at another level in Liberia but said that the issues of pronunciation, writing, and articulation are his paramount concern and when these things are being worked on, there will be a vibrant media that the Liberian people will enjoy in the areas of education, information, entertainment, amongst others.
Commenting on misinformation and disinformation, Journalist Kiawu said it is not necessary for a journalist to trend on misinformation and disinformation, adding that misinformation is something that one misinforms people or to lie about something but not in a deliberate content, saying it is wrong and that a journalist shouldn’t trend on spilling out misinformation and disinformation.
He elaborated that for disinformation, it is an intentional or a calculated lie or a complete lie that somebody plans to do as he pleads with Liberian journalists not to practice these because they have the propensity to level down a person’s journalism career.
“Let me thank the young people for showing up. Honestly, I didn’t think you would have shown up until your leader met me yesterday and said that you are coming tomorrow for the training”, he said. “Every morning I listen to ELBC super morning show; I listen to all the correspondents, and I write down all their mistakes and I will call each of them one-by-one and correct them”.
The training took place at the Ministry of Information Cultural, Affairs and Tourism on Wednesday, June 28, 2023, at the Charles Gbenyon Press Room in Monrovia.
At the climax of the training, Journalists in attendance expressed excitement over the brilliant deliberation by Mr. Kiawu and promised to utilize what they have achieved in maintaining the nobility of the journalism profession.