New Democrat (Monrovia)

2 May 2013

Liberia: U.S. Wants Mature Media in Liberia

Photo: La Presse
A press freedom protest in Tunisia.

Ahead of the World Press Freedom Day celebration slated to take place tomorrow in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, Deborac Marlac, United States Ambassador to Liberia at a press conference yesterday where she announced her pending visit to the US, said that though the media has some lapses, she expects to see an "evermore mature media environment in Liberia."

"Press freedom is a very important right that we in the United States champion around the world. It is an important hallmark for peace and democracy, a vibrant democracy whether in Liberia, the United States or any other country.

"The media and the press have a very important role to play in safe guiding the rights of the people and holding government accountable. So it is important that the media understands what its role is and play the proper role," Amb. Marlac told journalists at a press conference held at the US Embassy in Monrovia.

She said as media practitioners, we must be able to demonstrate a high level of self-discipline and responsibility in the execution of our media works.

"It's always very interesting to listen to the radio, or to watch the TV or read the press. Because, it is clear that some media houses exercise more responsibility than others.

"But again some of these things [can be attributed] to education process and experience. And overtime, we would expect to see an ever more mature media environment in Liberia," she anticipated.

Amb Marlac advised journalists to take every opportunity to develop themselves and learn more skills in playing their roles as watchdogs on society in harnessing reasonably and rationally on problems that you see arising."

In another development, Amb. Marlac also announced that the first session of the United States and Liberia partnership dialogue meeting would take place in Washington on the 7th of May, 2013.

"The US-Liberia partnership dialogue is a forum that we have created in conjunction with the government of Liberia to provide mechanism for an on-going discussion on important policy issues of interest to both sides," she briefly explained.

She said that some of the policy areas that that dialogue would seek to look would be agriculture and food security, energy and economic growth and human development issues focusing primarily on education.

"For this first meeting, we are going to address only two of those issues simply because it's a one day meeting. So we would be looking at the agriculture and food security, economic growth peace and then the energy issues would be the main focus of this session.

"The next meeting, whenever that would happen sometimes in the course of next year, we would focus on human development and probably one of those other two that we are talking about," she said.

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InFocus

How is Africa Faring on Media Freedom?

A press freedom protest in Tunisia.

From Ethiopia, to Nigeria, Somalia and South Africa, press freedom has suffered a number of setbacks in Africa. Read more »