14 June 2017

Liberia: Media Is Key to Better Democracy

The Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Lenn Eugene Nagbe, says the media in any country plays a major role in the developmental agenda, stressing that it must not be overlooked as it had been done in Liberia.

Addressing reporters here on Tuesday, 13 June at the opening of a two-day workshop on 'Elections Reporting' held at the Monrovia YMCA on Crown Hill, Minister Nagbe says the media is the custodian of a better democracy in any nation.

The workshop is being held under the auspices of the Center for Media Studies, bringing together Reporters from five counties, including Grand Cape Mount, Margibi, Bong, Grand Bassa, and Montserrado counties with the aim of strengthening their capacity and empowering them to monitor good governance, democratic participation, and peaceful political transition in Liberia thru free, fair and transparent elections in October.

The MICAT boss explains that whenever there exists an opportunity to get more training for young journalists, it contributes to the general effort for media improvement in the country. He reiterates that the media is an indispensable part of democracy, saying, "Without a free press, you cannot have a better democracy; it is the media that provides the check and balance that is required for democracy to continue".

Nagbe himself, a former media practitioner and editor, continues that though the media plays a major, it cannot succeed if other partners, including the government and political institutions didn't recognize the important role it plays.

"While we seek training for journalists, we anticipate our partners to get involve with this to promote a peaceful election; we also look forward to the Press Union of Liberia or PUL to push for politicians to commit themselves to allowing journalists to do their job without threat, intimidation, and violence."

According to the Minister, the reason behind his remarks is that in a competition involving election, politicians will always seek to influence the media, adding that in times where the interest of a politician or a particular group is not promoted, it fuel conflict.

"We who are politicians must also look at the role the media has to play, not just to be promoters of politicians, but to be promoters of the country; that can only be done by examining us, assessing us, criticizing us, exposing us, that's the version of a good media landscape", Nagbe concludes.

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