U.S. Embassy Builds Journalists’ Skills in Writing and Reporting  

COTONOU- June 17, 2022 – Ambassador Brian Shukan closed a five-day training on journalism writing skills at U.S. Embassy Cotonou. Working with American journalist Linda Hervieux, fifteen Beninese journalists representing print, radio, TV and online outlets participated in a training on article structure, the art of interviewing, building trust with sources, and avoiding disinformation. The trainees applied the teaching during group exercises and will use the lessons learned to produce more professional reporting.   

“Your role of informing, educating, and reaching out to the public is important in a democratic society under the rule of law like Benin,” Ambassador Shukan told the participants, before encouraging them to persevere in their efforts. 

Sonia Djakpa from newspaper Le Révélateur said the training taught her more about the hook in an article and ways to approach sources for a story. 

“Beyond writing skills, we addressed investigative journalism, the code of ethics, and fact-checking, as well as leadership and management skills,” La Nation journalist Ariel Gbaguidi said, “I feel further empowered to practice my profession.”  

Training facilitator Linda Hervieux stated the training was a great opportunity to work with talented journalists. “I was extremely impressed by Benin, its people, and especially the courage and talent of the fifteen journalists who took part in this training and who came from different regions of this amazing country,” Ms. Hervieux said.

Linda Hervieux is an American journalist and photographer who has worked with the New York Times, the New York Daily News, the Daily Beast, and NBC News. She is the author of Forgotten: The Untold Story of D-Day’s Black Heroes, at Home and at War. The training was a collaborative effort between U.S. Embassy Cotonou and Africa Regional Services, a division of the U.S. State Department’s African Affairs Bureau’s Office of Public Diplomacy.

Find photos of the closing ceremony on our FlickR account here https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjzVtE2