New Democrat (Monrovia)

4 December 2012

Liberia: Determined Focus Keeps New Democrat Going for 19 Years

column

The New Democrat yesterday celebrated its 19th anniversary without fanfare but with determined focus on its founding cherished objective: "Towards the achievement of social justice" in Liberia and and beyond.

First appearing as a Weekly on 3 December 1993 on the newsstand, the paper has since weathered vindictiveness, including complete burning and looting of its offices in April 1996 followed by new draconian registration laws then introduced and enforced by the Ministry of Information which stifled its resumption of publication for 25 months before it reappeared on the newsstand.

Despite our constant clear declaration that we do not see the government as an enemy, but rather as a partner in moving forward a democratic process, a process necessary for economic and social development, it is unfortunate that jungle law by President Charles Taylor's regime caused hiatus in our publication until democratic governance which tolerates freedom of speech and press freedom resumed in Liberia in 2005, paving way for us to return on the newsstand. We admit that though this new socio-economic and political dispensation, is without its odds, its nurtures plurality of views in the national debate and an enabling environment for operation of the media.

It is noteworthy expressing that a mournful moment came during our sojourn mid this year when New Democrat's 'wonderful mind' and ardent campaigner for social justice, founder/publisher, Tom Kamara, was called from labour to rest.

His untimely demise spurs us with more resolve to keep the torch depicting his dreams high and unflinching as the most befitting tribute he would love endured.

At this juncture, we want to express thanks and appreciation to all our partners in progress and many customers as well as readers, and promise to serve you better during the years to come.

Our constant reminder to the government is to accept the fact that 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. And the onus is on us the Fourth Estate to keep the watchdog role guarding against that danger.

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