The Carter Center Partners With Mental Health Reporters’ Network to Mentor Liberian Journalists

The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism and the Mental Health Reporters Network in Liberia announce the inaugural class of mentees in mental health journalism

ATLANTA — The Carter Center’s Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism and the Mental Health Reporters’ Network (MHRN) in Liberia have partnered to mentor four Liberian journalists covering COVID-19 and mental health. The group of experienced Liberian reporters includes a radio broadcaster and three print journalists.

The goal of the new mentorship initiative, which began forming in April 2020, is to support Liberian journalists’ professional development by building the technical capacity of MHRN leaders and supporting effective reporting around COVID-19 in Liberia.

The mentees, who were selected from a pool of journalists throughout Liberia, are accomplished journalists as demonstrated through their work and references, and who have a high interest in expanding the breadth of their mental health reporting. They will be individually supported by Carter Center fellows, who have deep experience and training reporting on mental health.

The Carter Center helped found and has supported the MHRN since 2015. The network of more than 20 reporters works together to share best practices and resources for mental health reporting in Liberia.

“We are excited to bring together some of our outstanding fellows from the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism program with four dedicated journalists in Liberia,” said Dr. Eve Byrd, director of the Center’s Mental Health Program. “The individual mentorship they will receive will strengthen the important and growing mental health reporting in Liberia.”

Mental Health Reporters’ Network Mentees

Photo of ZeZe Ballah

Zeze Ballah writes for The Bush Chicken News and is an Internews Health Journalism Fellow. He studied investigative journalism and photojournalism at the African Institute of Journalism and Communication in Accra. Ballah has served as senior reporter for the Public Agenda newspaper and has facilitated journalism workshops in Monrovia. In 2016 and 2017, the Press Union of Liberia awarded Ballah the Photojournalist of the Year award and then Health Reporter of the Year. He is national coordinator for the Mental Health Reporters’ Network and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and Sociology from the University of Liberia.

Photo of Emmanuel Degleh.

Emmanuel Degleh has over a decade of experience as a community radio broadcaster. He is the former Margibi correspondent and manager for the Liberia Broadcasting System, and a co-founder of Classic FM 93.9 MHz, one of Liberia’s leading community radio stations. He is also a member of the Press Union of Liberia, secretary general of the Mental Health Reporters’ Network and a 2016 Internews Health Journalism Fellow.

Photo of Al Varney Rogers.

Al-Varney Rogers is a Liberian journalist and 2017 International Visitor Leadership Program fellow sponsored by State Department of the United States. Rogers has served as a staff writer at FrontPage Africa Newspaper and special correspondent for the Los Angeles Times during the Ebola outbreak. He’s one of the first journalists to consistently report on mental health in Liberia and was the Mental Health Reporters’ Network’s first organizing coordinator. Rogers is a Bachelor of Laws candidate at the Louise Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of Liberia and a certificate in New and Traditional Broadcast Media from The Poynter Institute.

Photo of Magdalene Saah.

Magdalene Saah is educational reporter and mental health reporter at The Bush Chicken News. She is the executive director of Champion Youth Liberia and hosts their weekly radio program, which has an audience of up to 9,000 listeners. She is a certified trainer of trainers for Pointman Youth Leaders and taught at Mother Victoria Christian School in Monrovia, Liberia where she was awarded twice for her service. She is currently studying Mass Communication and Public Administration with Counseling at the African Methodist Episcopal University.


Caroline (CC) Clauss-Ehlers is an associate professor at Rutgers University. She a licensed psychologist bilingual in English and Spanish and the program/clinical coordinator for Rutgers Programs in School Counseling and Counseling Psychology, which prepares future generations of school counselors to work in schools, mental health settings, and consider doctoral study. She was a 2004-2005 Rosalynn Carter Fellow and serves on the Journalism Fellowship Advisory Board.

Jaclyn Cosgrove is a reporter at the Los Angeles Times and a 2015-2016 Rosalynn Carter Fellow. Previously, she worked as the health reporter at the Oklahoman. For her fellowship project, she explored the barriers that low-income, uninsured people with mental illnesses face in finding treatment. Cosgrove is originally from Arpelar, Oklahoma, and graduated from Oklahoma State University.

Thomas Davis teaches Public Health Literature and Writing for Professionals at Rutgers University, a fine art photographer and a 2004-2005 Rosalynn Carter Fellow. He has experience in criminal justice, municipal finance, housing and community planning. After working for several years in the municipal bond business in New York, he served on the Board of Trustees of the Sussex County Arts and Heritage Council in New Jersey. He writes about current affairs, including immigration and health policy, gun violence, and politics.
Christine Herman is a Ph.D. chemist turned audio journalist, a reporter at Illinois Public Media, and a 2018-2019 Rosalynn Carter Fellow. Her reporting has received awards from the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association and has aired on national programs including National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and “Here & Now”. Christine is a mother of three and aspiring aerial artist.

The fellowships are part of The Carter Center’s Mental Health Program, which works around the world to improve access to mental health care and reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental illnesses. The program is committed to providing journalists with the tools they need to report on mental health and distributes a Journalism Resource Guide on Behavioral Health so journalists can accurately cover stories that include behavioral health. Fellows’ mental health reporting can be found on @CarterFellows on Twitter and on

Contact: In Atlanta, Rennie Sloan
In Liberia, Benedict Dossen,

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