FIVE JOURNALISTS TO RECEIVE ALJA MEDIA AWARD By Juliana Noah Johnson

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The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) has selected five Liberian Journalists to receive its Prestigious award for Excellence in Journalism at the organization’s 11th Annual National Convention scheduled to be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

According to a press release issued by the association on Tuesday, August 29th, those to be awarded include Mr. Peter Quaqua, President of the West African Journalists Association, (WAJA); Mrs. Christiana Saywah Jimmy, Publisher of the Inquirer Newspaper; and Dr. Abdoulaye Dukuly, Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University. Others are Rev. Suah Deddeh, former Press Union of Liberia (PUL) President and Chairman of the ALJA Elections Commission and Mr. Titus Tokpa, Executive Director of MediaAid Foundation.

The release says Mr. Quaqua is being awarded for “his role in the fight for and promotion of free speech in Liberia and the sub-region through the abolition of anti-media laws.” Mrs. Jimmy will be recognized for her “outstanding performances, superior dedication and positive attitude on the job over the years that helped to raise the profile of female journalists in Liberia, while Dr. Abdoulaye Dukuly was cited for his steadfast commitment, thoughtful guidance and inspiring leadership of young journalists in Liberia.

According to the award citation, Rev. Deddeh is being recognized for his commitment to promoting Press Freedom as former President of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) and his dedicated services to the Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA), while Mr. Tokpa will receive the award for his vision to empower and give journalists a head-start, refresher and advanced training in journalism and media services, and his quest to improve the quality of the profession in Liberia.

The award ceremony will take place on Saturday, Saturday, September 16th during ALJA’s Benefit Banquet and Awards Night as part of activities marking the organization’s annual convention expected to take place in Minneapolis, Minnesota from September 14-17. The ceremony will bring together several international Journalists of Liberian orientation and ALJA members based in the US. Also expected to attend are officials of the Liberian government, politicians, religious leaders and friends of the Liberian media.

The winners were selected by the Independent ALJA Media Awards committee consisting of distinguished professionals with decades of experience in journalism. They consist of Dr. Alex Redd, Mrs. Melissa Chea Annan, and Ms Rufina Darpoh. Other members of the committee include Mr. Hassan Kiawu and Mrs. Ora Garway King.

The release quotes ALJA President, Joe Mason as saying that the “excellence in journalism award is a testament to the importance of a free press and seeks to recognize the outstanding contributions of journalists who have demonstrated exception dedication, skill, and commitment to the profession”.

Mr. Mason emphasized that “by honoring exemplary journalists, the organization seeks to not only acknowledge their accomplishments but also inspire the next generation of media professionals to adhere to the highest standards of reporting.”.

ALJA is a conglomeration of current and retired Liberian journalists residing in the Americas. It is a 501c (3) non-profit organization. The Association was founded in 1998 with the objectives of advancing press freedom through media capacity building, and the fostering of good governance in Liberia through media advocacy.

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