columnBy Arthur B. Dennis
During the period of the Year 2007 under review, four news websites not only kept the public informed of daily events unfolding in Liberia but also allowed their news media to be used by Liberians and friends of Liberia to exercise their free speech right on issues of national concern. Therefore, as the Year 2007 comes to a close, these websites and their editorial staffs deserve our flowers for job well done. The first-place honoree on the list for our flowers is The Analyst news website.
The Analyst Website
The Analyst deserves the first place because it has been the only news website to always allow my views to be heard in the court of public opinion. In the years before 2007, I submitted several articles to so many websites for publications but the response was mixed. In the period under review, some websites refused outrightly to publish my articles, while others published them once or twice and then closed the doors on me.
But The Analyst has never ever refused to publish any of my articles. Therefore, many thanks to the editorial staff of The Analyst, especially Christian Bruce Wiah (Webmaster) for affording me the opportunity to participate in the market place of ideas during the period under review. I wish you all Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
I also wish Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to those websites that have not yet seen reason to make my views heard and hope the New-Year 2008 will open a new chapter in our effort to foster free speech and democracy for Post-War Liberia. In so doing, let the following quotes be our guide.
Article 15 of the Constitution of Liberia expressly provides that "every person shall have the right to freedom of speech and of the press; and there shall be no limitation on the public to be informed... "Frederick Douglas (1818-1895), the most vocal civil rights leader in 19th century once told his audience that "Those who seek to silence free speech, silence democracy." Dr. Martin Luther King, America's most inspirational civil rights leader in the decades of the 1950s and 1960s also urged his followers that: "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
The second news website that deserves our flowers for the Year 2007 is FrontPage Africa. When it comes to current events in Liberia and news about Liberians around the world, FrontPage is the news leader in the Diaspora. Good job, guys. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Before many of the news websites came into existence, Allafrica.com was one of the first news providers for Liberians in the Diaspora and continues to provide current news on Liberia. Therefore, the editorial staffs deserve the biggest flowers for the Year 2007. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!
LIMANY, LIMAP, and Mandingo Websites
LIMANY, LIMAP, and other Mandingo websites also deserve our flowers for keeping us informed in current events and photo news. When it comes to photo news, you guys are the news leaders for the Year 2007. Good job. However, to do justice to your religious belief, Happy New Year and we wish you success in 2008 and beyond. To the other news websites that are not mentioned herein for our flowers, we say thanks for your participation in the news industry, and we hope you will emulate the examples of our 2007 honorees. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Finally, my sincere thanks and appreciation go to my readers for commending the views expressed in my articles published during the period under review. Your commendations were the major source of my inspiration.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!