28 November 2012

Liberia: 'You're Conduits for Transformation'

The Managing Editor of the Inquirer Newspaper says the media serves as one of the major conduits for the transformation of any state or country.

Mr. Philip N. Wesseh said the media have greater responsibilities in ensuring that the society is transformed through various media outlets.

Speaking at the opening of a two-day policy reporters training in Monrovia, he said while it is not wrong to hold government accountable for the provision of services and other obligations to the people, it was equally important to hold civil society (CSOs) and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) accountable for donor funds received for various projects in the country.

The Inquirer boss said journalists should equally understand that the CSOs and NGOs are also contributing to the development of the country and as such, their contributions and activities need to be checked and scrutinized.

Mr. Wesseh pointed out that one of the major weaknesses of the media in Liberia is journalists' failure to follow up stories, events and promises.

He said the need for the media to cultivate the practice of following up on issues should not be overlooked, adding, "More follow ups draw more attention."

The training is being supported and funded by TROCIAR, DEN-L and the European Commission (EC).

For his part, TPROCIAR (an Irish development organization), Liberia Program Officer, Paul Allen said having realized that the issues of development were being under reported in the Liberia over the years, the organization saw the need of mitigating the problem.

Mr. Allen said his organization thought to provide a forum where the media is informed and educated about development issues and have them reported like other stories.

He expressed happiness with the level of collaboration that has existed between TROCIAR and the Liberia Media Center (LMC).

Also, Assistant Information Minister Albert Jaja told journalists that such interactions are the foundation and bedrock for good journalism and should not be overlooked.

Min. Jaja said development issues cut across all sectors of the society and will not be made known to the public if the media fails to highlight them.

He told journalists to be more innovative in order to deal with some of the many challenges that are being faced by the media.

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