Heritage (Monrovia)

23 August 2013

Liberian Journalists a Challenged As PUL Launches Website

Liberian Journalists have been urged to be more "analytical and objective" in reporting on issues of corruption in order to maintain peace and stability in the country.

According to the Chairperson of the University of Liberia (UL) Mass Communication Department, Madam Weade Kobbah- Wureh, Liberia's peace is still fragile, and therefore, journalists must focus their reportage on "good governance, transparency, and the rule of law."

She said journalists must monitor access to justice and other ills objectively in an effort to sustain peace in the country. She made these comments on Thursday, August 22, 2013 at the official launch of the Press Union of Liberia's (PUL) website in Monrovia.

The launching of the website coincided with a Special Forum held under the theme: "Ten Years AfterThe War: The Responsibility Of The Media In Sustaining The Peace." The forum brought together media executives and reporters, amongst others.

The website, www.pul.org.lr was launched by former PUL President Mr. LaminiWaritay. Serving as panelist, Professor Kobbah-Wureh stressed that journalists mustbe concerned about "looking at things that would better the lives" of the Liberian people.

She said the "tenets of good governance", including accountability should be one of the paramount concerns of media practitioners in the discharge of their duty.

"Our peace is still fragile because there are foreign troops here and most of our policies and programs are driven by the international community. So we as journalists, our focus should be on good governance and monitoring what is happening in our country to sustain the peace. Journalists need to be more analytical," she emphasized.

Also serving as panelist at the forum, the Managing Editor of the Inquirer Newspaper, Mr. Philip N. Wesseh, called on journalists to "ensure the equitable distribution of the country's wealth." He said this can be achieved when media practitioners report on "ills that affect the citizens", especially the ordinary people.

He stated that Liberian journalists should make sure that the basic fundamental rights of all citizens are protected regardless of status in the Liberian society. The Inquirer boss also urged journalists to desist from "favoring one politician over the other."

Mr. Wesseh said journalists should continue to "fight against corruption" in the country. "We should be aware of the law. There should be no one big or small before the law. We should make sure that there is an equitable distribution of the country's wealth.

We must make leaders to know the plights of their people. Report a story that has impact. We should also ensure that the basic rights of the people, including freedom of speech are respected," the Liberia media guru mentioned.

For his part, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Infinity Corporation, owner of Power FM and Television, Mr. Aaron Kollie, reminded media practitioners of the social responsibility to the public.

He said it is incumbent upon every Liberian journalist to work towards the sustenance of the peace and security of the nation. He, however, urged journalists not to allow their work to be "manipulated" by those he called "greedy politicians."

Earlier, the President of the PUL, Mr. Peter Quaqua, commended IREX for the level of support provided towards the building of the Union's website.

He urged journalists and the general public to make maximize use of the website.

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