Special Awards In Pictures

-New Republic Publisher Cautions Journalists
As the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) commemorates its 53rd anniversary, New Republic Newspaper Publisher has cautioned media practitioners in Liberia to sit and redirect their thoughts, actions, and interactions and find a way out in resolving challenges facing media outlets and journalists in general.

Alphonso Toweh9x6Making the disclosure at a local hotel over the weekend in Ganta, Alphonso Toweh emphasized that journalists need to look at themselves critically, on grounds that the profession is very powerful.

“As it is often said that the pen is mightier than the soul, be mindful that the report you give can put this entire country in flames, therefore, we ourselves need to examine ourselves well by what we do, our attitude, behavior and our actions.”

He cited that the media set the pace for others to follow, once it goes blind, others will go blind. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the media to be able to press ahead because no one in the media is a kid. “The fact is we are not kids.”

In a remark, Mr. Toweh, who is also a member on the member of the Publisher Association of Liberia, called on all journalists in the country to remain united, focus, and transparent in order to build a vibrant media.

“Whether you like it or not, if anything happens to any journalist today, whether you are in this hall, or not in this hall, it has reflection on you as a media person. First thing, they are going to ask who you are, and you answered: I am a journalist; so, one way or the order it has negative or positive reflection on you,” he maintained.

Toweh also called on journalists to remain united, strong, and even stronger than before if they must move ahead. Also in a remark, Internews acting deputy chief of party and media advisor called for reconciliation amongst journalists most especially within the union on grounds that they do not want to drive the situation towards a level were the public will take the place of the media.

According to Patmillia Doe Peavey, the media should not be a laughing stock for the citizens or the public, noting that sooner or later, the public will be writing the media stories instead of the media writing their stories.

“We must be able to work together because we will not be able to pursue our goal or mission as an association unless we are able to work together for a common front,” she added.

“Journalists and the media community in general are responsible to heal the wounds that have been created over the years, healing the wounds that will be created during this period, and more importantly healing the wounds within the PUL.”
She also used the occasion to remind members of the PUL and media actors to show some level of integrity and live up to their code of ethics and put Liberia first in whatever.
She further that despite these challenges journalists must have integrity in whatever he or she does, saying “do not get carried away by few cents or dollars; do not put your profession on the line because of one politician.”

The media, according to Internews acting deputy chief of party, serves as a platform for strengthening democracy and ensuring that peace obtained is sustained because the world`s eye is now on Liberians and their country.

Patmillia Doe Peavey affirmed, “We are at a critical point in the history of our democracy; we have ten years of sustained peace even though peace is sustained, but it is also fragile that we must not forget. I must commend you that to some extent we tried to make these elections issue focused; we do not overlook the fact that the tune we drive in our reportage has the propensity to create conflicts or to disturb our peace.”

She emphasized that despite challenges the union is faced with, Internews is continuously committed to supporting and working along with the Press Union of Liberia as partner amidst the challenges within the union.

“This is why LND is ensuring that citizens can have improve access to information in order to participate in whatever meaningful discussions that will improve their livelihoods.”

Meanwhile, this year’s anniversary received low turnout for the first time in the historic of the PUL. This is the first major event by the PUL since the Charles Coffey-led administration took over and the low turnout has created more room for questions than answers.

Many people particularly journalists linked the low turn out to alleged struggles between officials of the union as well insufficient publicity carried out by the publicity committee of the union.
The symposium on journalists’ safety and contributions to peaceful elections were held under the theme: “building a strong media to entrench Liberia’s democracy,” with a call to end partisan journalism.

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