Monrovia — The Center for Media Studies and Peace Building (CEMESP) on Wednesday, March 31, 2020, held a National Conference on the Safety of Liberia in Journalists.
Held in the Liberia YMCA conference hall, the forum also saw the adoption of a communique to guarantee the protection of journalists and media workers in the country.
It is a final activity done in collaboration with the Accra-based Media Foundation for West Africa with funding support from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands- in Ghana
titled, "Improving Press Freedom and Safety of Journalists Situation in Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone."
CEMESP and MFWA believe the project will help improve the safety of journalists' situation in the three countries.
Malcolm Joseph, the Executive Director of the Center for Media Studies and Peace Building said the forum is "an important step to protecting the safety of journalists to enable them to become conscious of potentially dangerous situations and how they can protect themselves at all times in their line of duty".
Speaking at the opening of the forum, Mr. Joseph said. the gathering would as well enable stakeholders to commit to improving the safety of journalists' situation in the country, work out modalities to enable security agencies and the media to have improved understanding of each other's role in the Liberia society
The forum bought together journalists, editors, and managers of media outlets; representatives of the national media regulatory body, security agencies, journalists unions, and other media associations, (such as FEJAL, community radio representatives, association of newspaper publishers, association of broadcaster etc.), police, military, civil society organizations and representatives of journalism training institutions.
Delivering the keynote at the forum, Deputy Information Minister Boakai Fofana who proxy for Information Minister Ledgerhood Rennie said the Liberian Media is constrained with low salary and lack of equipment for journalists which according him has compelled some journalists to indulge into negative media practices that lead to violent reactions by their victims including national security agents.
He said the Weah -led government has an outstanding record of Press freedom based on the principles of the Table Mountain declaration and the Kamara Abdullai Kamara Act of Press freedom.
According to Deputy minister Fofana, the Liberian government has no grudge against any journalist or media institution, but that frictions between journalists and national security agents are caused by what he called diametric opposition of the works of journalists and that of national security agents.
The Director of the Executive Protective Service Trokon Roberts, Deputy Information Minister for Press and Public Affairs- Eugene L Fahngon, and Police spokesman-Moses Carter were among those in attendance that made special presentations.