4 February 2013

Liberia: Govt. Discriminates Local Media

The Ministry of Information and Tourism (MICAT) has been accused of alleged discrimination in the selection of local media institutions to cover the main event of the UN High Level Panel (HLP) meeting at the Royal Grand Hotel in Monrovia.

A week before the meeting, the Ministry issued accreditation cards to over one-hundred journalists from various media institutions to cover the entire HLP event in Monrovia.

However, during the main event, the Ministry selected New Democrat, Frontpage Africa, ELBC, Truth FM, MICAT Press, and the Observer along with international journalists to cover the HLP meeting at Royal Grand Hotel.

Journalists from other media institution who were barred from covering the event described the decision as "discriminatory".

International journalists, including those brought in by the President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono were accredited by MICAT.

It remains unclear why the Government, through the Ministry of Information, decided to come up with such a 'discriminatory decision' against media institutions, especially during such an international event.

Meanwhile, several Liberians have described the United Nations (UN) High Level Panel meeting in Monrovia as "embarrassment to their movements".

During the conference, the already congested City of Monrovia was restricted only to VIPs as ordinary pedestrians and motorists were diverted to other routes.

However, the Ministry of Information has described the inconveniences caused by the conference to the people of Liberia as a "prize" that everyone has to pay.

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