Liberia: PUL Releases 2nd Weekly Alert On Activities of Journalists for Special Senatorial Elections

The Press Union of Liberia has released the second of its weekly alert on the activities of Journalists for the special Senatorial elections.

According to a release, the report covers the period between October to December 2020. It is the second in a series of alert reports to be published for the period under review.

The Media Alert Reports is characterized by the death, threats, attack and intimidation of Liberian journalists by State Actors and unknown men.

The Alert Reports also highlighted other major issues, including critical analysis of the trend being taken by Liberia's media environment, taking into consideration the nature of space being offered by state actors for the media to function.

The current Alert Report of the Press Union of Liberia/Media Alert Office shares light on death threat, attack and intimidation of the media by individuals in the public and private sectors.

This second Report contains one death threats and one attack by State actors and unknown men.

The Alert Office was set up in 2017 by the PUL, in collaboration with Internews/USIAD, as part of the Media Development Program.

The Press Union of Liberia is calling on the journalism community to help publicize these Alert reports as these publications hold a lot to the future of the Media in Liberia, relative to exposing any unfavorable cloud that may be hanging over all of us as journalists.

Alert Report

The reports, as we all may know have been focusing on threats/attacks on journalists and media institutions in Liberia, including issues of free speech. We are also tracking the deportment of Journalists covering the Special Senatorial Elections.

Methodology:

The methodology, as usual, entails the collection of local dailies and going through them, monitoring of some radio stations (news and talk shows) and the receiving of direct reports.

Verification:

Figures gathered are normally verified by going on the troubled spots, getting in touch with independent sources on the ground, as well as making contacts with civil society actors. At the same time, the Media Alert Office makes contacts with the Press Union's Coordinators in the various counties, as part of its tracking process.

Attack:

On Tuesday, November 11, 2020, Journalist Zayzay Ballah of Bush Chicken Newspaper along with scores of Liberian journalists were brutalized and chased from the protest scene while carrying out their reportorial duties by the Liberian National Police.

Reporters Zazay Ballah and Emmanuel Davies of Fortune Television and many others were battled and assaulted by the Police while covering angry family members who staged a daily protest at the St. Moses Funeral Parlor in demand of justice for the mysterious disappearance of their three children.

Threat:

Journalist Gloria Tamba, Editor in-Chief of Spoon FM received death threats and intimidation for reporting on the "Missing Boys" protest at the St. Moses Funeral Home. Journalist Tamba was at the premises covering the initial protests when two strange men separately came up to her and directly instructed that she abandons the story or she will regret it. She was able to capture a third person photographing her directly.

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