24 December 2012

Liberia: Hailing Our Media Colleagues


MANY OF THOSE who continue to frown on educated Liberians for not writing books to share their experiences and also to get involved in the education of the future leaders of the country have all reasons to rethink their disappointment as there have been strives by many Liberians in changing this trend of Liberians not writing, but relying on foreign books. There were also concerns that members of the media were only engaged in mere reporting, and not penning their experiences.

UNARGUABLY, THIS TREND of relying on foreign materials or relying on outsiders to write about this country over the years is now claiming the attention of many Liberians, including some members of the media. Although people outside the media, including Dr. Joseph Saye Guannue, Prof. Moses Nagbe, Sis. Mary Laurene Brown, Hester Williams-Katakaw, Michael Weah, continue to promote Liberian's writing, some members of the media have also been involved in this endeavor of sharing experiences by authoring books, which can be used in Liberian schools.

SOME OF THESE media people include the late Stanton Peabody, venerable Kenneth Yarkpawolo Best, Frank Sainworla, formerly of Radio VERITAS, Grey Stemn, Mr. Gabriel Williams, Moses Gray, all former editors of THE INQUIRER Newspaper have authored books in which they shared their experiences during the years of conflict in this country.

INDEED, WE COMMEND these media practitioners who have taken up the time to pen their experiences, which are also useful to know where we came from as a nation and people and also guide against the mistakes of the past. This is necessary because the nation cannot progress if we do not take into account those hurdles that retarded national progress.

IN HIS LATEST book, "Liberia's Emerging Democracy", the Role of Liberian Women And The Liberian Media, Mr. Gray, also, a former Assistant Foreign Minister for Public Affairs, now with the Liberian Embassy in France, discusses how Liberian women played a crucial role in getting warlords to the negotiating table eventually culminating to the attainment of peace and stability in the country. In addition, it deals with the central role of Liberian women and in particular comments on the vigorous contributions of several Liberian women including President Sirleaf.

DIPLOMAT GRAY'S BOOK also highlights Liberian women as actors and not merely victims of conflict and discusses the strategies the women used effectively and points to their role in building bridges across the society through grassroots peace building initiatives and in bringing former warlords to the peace table. The author's research discovers how several young women resorted to fight to protect themselves from abuses such as rape, violence, murder and a harsh labor regime while other war affected women were held hostage and used as 'combat-wives' of warlords and fighters against their will.

AGAIN, WE ARE delighted by this move of our media colleagues and hope that they will continue to pen their experiences, some of which can be used in our school system. How-be-it, we urge them, not to be complacent, but to continue to press further so that some of their colleagues will be inspired or motivated to emulate their good examples. Bravo Gray and others!

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