23 November 2012

Liberia: New Democrat Rejects Publishers' Alliance Statement


In reaction to a so-called statement issued Wednesday by the Publishers Association of Liberia denouncing alliance with stakeholders to foment chaos and conflict in the country, the New Democrat, an independent newspaper with a clear valued agenda of working toward social justice in Liberia for over 19 years now, categorically rejects any attempt by outside forces, including any individual or group of individuals, to surreptitiously influence or determine its modus operandi.

As it is a fact beyond denial that every media institution operates according to certain unique guidelines and principles, there is abundant truth that New Democrat operates without being influenced or bound by a blanket decision taken, especially without an authorized input from its top management.

We are convinced that our readers and subscribers know as an indelible fact that the New Democrat's scrupulous pursuit of its principles in reporting on local and internal issues as well as news judgment clearly and stance on national insulate it from readily being decoyed by other media institutions to soil its reputation earned through sweat and blood for the past 19 years.

Without engaging in any so-called alliance with other media houses or institutions for solidarity to align reportage to any desired taste, this paper over the years braved the gunfire of war and remained unwavering to its guiding principles in reporting on events in the country.

Therefore, we categorically denounce reports in local dailies Thursday including New Democrat as being in a so-called media alliance whose envisaged role spells no interest to New Democrat that had no authorized representative at a meeting of the Publishers Association of Liberia, where the decision was reportedly hatched.

We dissociate ourselves from the so-called alliance against conflict statement, and therefore, strongly reiterate that it has no binding on the value system of New Democrat.

In "Staying The Course", the first editorial published following the internment of our late managing Editor/Publisher, Tom Kamara, we wrote: "There can be no befitting and timely tribute to him than a firm commitment and determination to uphold sacrosanct the cornerstone upon which New Democrat was founded- an alternative voice that would continue to search and publish the truth and nothing but the truth.

"When the New Democrat first appeared in 1993, its watchword that remains unequivocally clear was that it does not see the government as an enemy; but rather the government was a partner in moving forward a democratic process, a process necessary for economic and social development.

"The world, which has become one global village, is seeking adherents to the new gospel of human rights and good governance. Leaders and their countries that are non-conformists of these global tenets, of course, risk outright castigation as tyrants and pariah states.

'Though Tom Kamara has gone to the great beyond, his dream for establishing this paper lives on. He frequently insisted that the government should or ought to be a partner in the attainment and entrenchment of justice.

"Versatile journalist Tom, who fell among rare and irreplaceable personalities who appear once in a century the world over, regularly said his intent for the New Democrat was (and still is) 'to play our role in strengthening civil society and democratic institutions with an unbending belief in democracy and the will of the people.'"

"Hence, our prayer to Almighty God is for courage, foresight and strength to stay the course while we sound the caveat: let no one be deluded that we will waver from the principles and virtues of our founder and managing editor, to whom we say, rest In Peace 'Uncle Tom'."

Now, how can anyone, especially individuals with whom the late Tom Kamara had no much ethical binding with, dare think they can at this early hour decoy New Democrat through unauthorized means to join their bandwagon? Never! Never can that be.

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