BY: Shallon S. Gonlor

NIMBA COUNTY — Liberia’s Female Journalists Association president-elect, Lisa Tenneh Diasay has vowed to rebrand FeJAL in media development, and transformation under her regime. 

Madam Lisa Tenneh Diasay, an experienced Liberian female journalist won the December 15, 2023, presidential election of the Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FeJAL), bringing to an end Madam Siatta Scott Johnson’s term as President of the Association over the past three years.

Speaking Wednesday, January 10, 2024, on Radio Nimba’s breakfast show ‘Wake-up Nimba’ via telephone from Monrovia, Madam Diasay said her administration will be more transparent, accountable, robust, and inclusive governance to ensure female media development in Liberia.

FeJAL, the umbrella organization of Liberia female journalists, and the Press Union of Liberia, president-elect contended that female media development remains a key priority, stressing that all efforts will be exerted to improve rural and urban journalism across the country with a specific focus on diverse reportage.

She furthered that with different areas of concern to address vices confronting society, her leadership will ensure esteem members of FeJAL capacity building to become experts in their reportage, which, according to her will enable female journalists in rural areas to report human interest stories including children and women, health, education, politics, and other issues arising at their communities level respectively.

Madam Lisa Tenneh Diasay wants media leaders and grassroots female journalists across Liberia to take action against gender imbalance in the noble profession, and prioritize female media development in news – both in rural and urban areas in terms of electronic, print, and online media reporting.

A balanced presence of women and men in news and current affairs would to a higher degree reflect the composition of society and showcase a greater variety of women’s experiences, views, and concerns. 

However, statistics indicate that Liberia media is far from balanced – male-dominant.

 The number of women working in the media has been increasing, but the top positions, which include managers, producers, executives, chief editors, and publishers are still very male-dominated, as this disparity is a major impediment to women fulfilling the role of journalist.

The media expert continued that the level of participation and influence of women in the media sector also has implications for media content, adding that female media professionals are more likely to reflect other women’s needs and perspectives than their male colleagues. 

Madam Lisa Tenneh Diasay meanwhile promised robust and participatory community media initiatives aimed at increasing the involvement of women in the media to become independent journalists, producers, and contributors of media content in Liberia and across.

This, according to Madam Diasay will encourage the involvement of rural female journalists in technical, and excellent reportage, openness, and gaining knowledge as watchdogs in the society to raise alarm and discuss vices hindering community development.

Lisa Tenneh Diasay-Oretha B. Seh’s incoming administration is committed to a participatory approach, considered to be an effective tool in encouraging alternate discourses, norms, and practices, and empowering women in the media, especially grassroots practicing female journalists who have been reluctant to be involved themselves in the noble profession.

The Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FeJAL) President-elect, Lisa Tenneh Diasay and Vice President-elect, Oretha B. Seh, are spirited for transformative governance, while their official inauguration is scheduled for January 19, 2024, as the winner of the organization’s presidential election held recently.

For the empowerment of women in media to have a genuine impact, opportunity structures also need to be addressed, such as conservative and male opinion.

Before their election victory, the Lisa-Seh team vigorously campaigned on capacity development, accountability, and transparency, networking, partnership, opportunities, decentralization among others, a platform that conveniently voted for them.

Madam Diasay further called for reconciliation and unity among all members of the association, saying the elections are over, and it is now time for everyone to look at the bigger picture of FeJAL—one of the outstanding auxiliaries of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL).

Ms. Lisa Diasay, a rights activist and certified Human Rights Defender has acquired a diverse range of expertise and a steadfast commitment to social justice and equality in her native Liberia.

The courageous female journalist has made significant strides in shedding light on important issues and championing marginalized voices across a broad spectrum. Accordingly, her dedication to feminist principles, values, and human rights advocacy has garnered enviable recognition and respect both locally and internationally.

The newly elected President of FeJAL is also the Chief Executive Officer of Women’s TV Liberia, a media platform established to prioritize the voices of women and give girls the space to raise their issues in the larger society across the country.