The Political Leader of the newly established People’s Liberation Party (PLP), Dr. Daniel Cassell, is this year’s keynote speaker at the acclaimed Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) Annual Benefit Banquet slated to be held in Trenton, New Jersey, USA.
Dr. Cassell will speak on Saturday, September 25, 2021, at the Ambassador Banquet Hall where the fundraiser will be held. His address will dwell on the ALJA 2021 convention’s theme, The Quest for an Independent, Sustainable, and Ethical Media in Liberia.
The event will bring together an array of eminent personalities. There will be local officials of the State of New Jersey including the Mayor of Trenton, Reed Gusciora, current and retired Liberian journalists, politicians, and US based Liberian community leaders. The Minister of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), Ledgerhood Rennie, and Liberia’s Ambassador accredited to the US, George Patten, will represent the Liberian government at the high profile gathering.
The ALJA Benefit Banquet is an annual event that mobilizes financial and material resources for media advocacy, development, and training in Liberia. According to an ALJA press release, the Benefit Banquet forms part of several activities planned for the Association’s 2021 Annual Convention slated to be held in the City of Trenton beginning Thursday, September 23rd through Sunday, September 26th, 2021. ALJA members and guests of the convention will begin arriving in Trenton on Thursday, September 23rd; and upon arrival, they would be taken on a guided tour of historic sites in the City.
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 fostering companionship amongst its members and their American counterparts. Additionally, the Association is committed to advancing press freedom through media capacity building and the fostering of good governance in Liberia through media advocacy.
On Friday, September 24th, the Association would simultaneously conduct an in-person and virtual media training for its members who will gather in Trenton and local Liberian journalists who will converge at the I-Campus building on Carey Street in Monrovia. Topics of the media training include New Media Technology and Digital Reporting, Media Ethics and Investigative Journalism in the Age of social media, Fake News and Disinformation, among others.
The ALJA release says a number of highly experienced communication professors from a number of universities and colleges as well as veteran journalists in the United States will lend their professional expertise to the Hybrid media training. As per the convention itinerary, the media training will be followed by a meet and greet ceremony at the home of the chairman of the ALJA 2021 Convention Committee, Peter Massaquoi in Hamilton, New Jersey.
On Saturday, September 25th, the convention’s activities would continue with the hosting of the ALJA general assembly at the Polish American World War Vets Center in Trenton. At the assembly, the accomplishments, challenges, and plans of the Association will be discussed. There will also be an election of national officers of the Association for another two-year term.
Prior to the general assembly, a panel discussion on the theme of the convention will be held among a number of media personalities including the President of the Press Union of Liberia, Charles Coffey, the Managing Editor of the New Dawn Newspaper, Othello Garblah and Korto Reeves, a Yale University Maurice R. Greenberg World Fellow. Others include Peter Quaqua, President of the West African Journalists Association (WAJA) and Joe Bartuah, former Managing Editor of The News Newspaper in Liberia.
On Sunday, September 26th, a thanking service for the ALJA National Leadership and members of the Association will be held at the Harvest International Ministries in Trenton. Following the service, the 2021 convention activities will wrap-up with a farewell cookout at the home of the chairman of the ALJA 2021 Convention Committee, Peter Massaquoi, in Hamilton, New Jersey.