17 April 2017

Liberia: Waja President Cautions Against Wrong Usage of Social Media

Monrovia — The President of the West African Journalists Association has warned against the misuse of social media by media practitioners in Liberia and other places around the world.

Peter Quaqua said instead of using social media to propagate news related items, journalists are joining other users of social websites to propagate messages that would question their profession.

Speaking in Congo Town over the weekend at the 2nd commencement convocation of the Peter Quaqua School of Journalism (PQSJ), he said most of the negative messages are propagated by individuals whose intent is to achieve a particular gain.

According to him, Facebook would soon become irrelevant if journalists do not be mindful in disseminating information across Liberia.

"Social media is a very important news outlet and people are using it for news but we have begun misusing Facebook and those of us journalists who depend on Facebook to disseminate our information beyond the limit of our country; if we don't take care, we will make it irrelevant," Mr. Quaqua intoned.

He indicated that the onus is upon professional journalists to fight against fake news by using similar social media sites to challenge false information disseminated by those who are not trained in the profession.

Forty Five students graduated from the Peter Quaqua School of Journalism in diverse media related disciplines.

He asserted that government in some African countries are now regulating social media as a result of being misused by citizens, noting that Liberia may experience same if Facebook and other social websites are continued to be misused.

The WAJA President warned the PQSJ graduates to be mindful of challenges the media is faced with in Liberia, especially during election periods.

This, according to him, is as a result of most media outlet across the country being owned by politicians which are posing difficulties for independent practices by journalists.

"Everybody say you must be careful especially during elections because there will be challenges in the elections that you must be careful of. I do accept and agree with those points that you hear."

"But I also like to inform you that we are in an environment in which the ownership of the media is controlled by people who are politicians."

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