“I used to believe that journalism was only meant for men and not for women…” says Lorpu Beyan, a young female assigned with community radio station in rural Liberia. The perception of Lorpu is not different from her colleagues participating in a focus group discussion to assess the impact of the training and mentoring program. Bennetha Nelson, one of the other discussants said: “I have learned that everyone is equally important in the media, whether you are man or a woman.”
The utterances coming from the young women tell a lot about how negative self-perception has been a barrier to the personal and professional growth of most female journalists, especially at the community radio level.
For Lorpu, Bennetha and other colleagues at Bong Mines Radio, the training and mentoring program has given them a new perspective. From being mere spectators in the newsroom, they are now engaged in the production of a “health talk” program, and using radio to educate community women on their rights and fight against teenage pregnancy , which according to them is “a serious issue.”
At Magic FM in Grand Bassa County, a group of five young women expressed similar sentiments. There, they are contributing news production and run two weekly programs: “Girls Hour” and “Women and Society”.