17 August 2012

Liberia: Accentuating Our Mission at 14


The Analyst, Liberia's most analytical newspaper and PUL’s Best Newspaper of the Year 2008/2009 quietly but soberly observed its 14th Anniversary last Monday, August 14, 2012. Its history being checkered, we behold the Analyst’s return of anniversary a momentous time made possible by perseverance, deliberate strides and diligence. We give thanks to God Almighty first and the loyal readership of the paper second without whom we wouldn’t have remained afloat and ever potent in the last decade of four.

Like King Solomon of Bible times, many opine that age doesn’t matter--necessarily. They exalt wisdom as the moral cloud that must be cherished over the number of birth anniversaries one has acquired, and celebrated. True. But age is the basic centerpiece of knowledge. In fact, it is a basic barometer by which one’s worth or merit is measured. That is why an elder receives more censure when he errs than the young. Like a fine metal or diamond that gets its purity or refinement by been subjected to flaming hearth or fire, man’s true caliber arrives from life’s journey--age.

During the last fourteen unbroken years, The Analyst stands on the judgment seat of the public--both Liberian and international readerships--since we run print and online editions. But whatever is in the figment of any reader, our age which clicked at 14, has not only been a checkered existence but also a grandiose hope for formidability on the media landscape of this country. The Analyst, fondly called the Nation’s Most Analytical Newspaper, was born on the island of tumult, sailed on turbulent seas even before it celebrated its third anniversary.

Today,as we quietly observe the passing of our 14th Anniversary, we do so with deep, sober reflection of the checkered past, an eager eye on the current trends of the national business and a high determination to enter the future with greater dedication. Amid it all, we can assure our many readers and admirers that we will not walk alone, just as we usually been. We acknowledge the gracious partnership we have had with the Liberian people – their trust, support and counsel--without which we certainly would have joined dozens of our compatriots who only flashed on the horizon and withered away.

We do so because with the blurred beam of light we see from the shores of media freedom in this country, we celebrate to remind ourselves of our survival, staying on course for a decade and two. In line with our mission to inform, educate and entertain – to trumpet the voice of the commoners – we were deeply bruised and crucified. Our offices were summarily shut down and our equipment seized several times without warrant. We were called all kinds of names: agent provocateurs; enemies of government; paid agents; rebel accomplices, etc. Most of our staff including myself, were rounded up and thrown in common jail on mere police suspicion. In all of these, we were like sheep taking to the slaughterhouse.

At 14,we forget not that the public, particularly our loyal readers, constitute the bulwark and fortress around which our triumph is anchored. When we were only eight paged, one-time, and later three-time-a-week, and logistics-starved, it was the encouragement of readers, the prayers of well-wishers and little nickels and dimes of admirers that fastened the buckles that kept us in grips on the newsstand. Moreover, in the face of adversity – when the political regime under which we rose to the newsstand regarded and treated us like a sworn armed adversary, we depended upon the public, second to God the Almighty, to hummock us out of danger and console us, and even to fight our case when physically and psychologically preyed upon.

Thought the Sirleaf Administration is yet to prove itself akin to the regimes of the dark days of the past when the Liberian media, specifically The Analyst, hungered for free expression and free press, we are not basking in the illusion of final freedom to slack the bond of camaraderie with the public. On this 14th Anniversary, therefore, we solemnly renew our covenant with the people of this country for whom, after all, we got our birth, and for whom we have become willing preys of official lashes. The journey we have embarked upon is timeless and irrespective of the tempo of the power that be. As we said in our maiden editorial, the mindset and conviction that drove our rise on the media terrain is to serve and keep the public trust, to support and ally with those who strive to build a better Liberia based on the pillars of freedom, justice, equality, and patriotism.

In our celebration today, we are not consumed by the euphoria and joy of the day, nor are we amused and carried away by the so-called improved media environment. We shall remain a vanguard of the voiceless ordinary people of Liberia. We shall remain a paragon of professionalism, objectivity, and instrument of peace and development. We shall never waver in the face of intimidation even with guns at our chest. This is exactly why we celebrate today; because we stood the test of time in the darkest of days because God, our Great Benefactor and the people of Liberia, our cherished constituents, were with us.

We salute and thank you all for your support.

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