Special Awards In Pictures

-Ethical Standards Demanded
As part of celebrations marking the World Press Freedom Day in Liberia organized through auspices of the Press Union of Liberia, journalists have expressed gratitude for numerous achievements by the local media in the country.

The day is meant to reflect on the challenges, brutalities and abuses that journalists go through in the quest of fetching information out for public consumption. The Liberia correspondent of the British Broadcasting Center (BBC), Jonathon Payleh-leh has called for the continued support for journalist so that the media Code of Ethics cannot be breached.

According to him, the messages that are delivered should be the major thought of the day that every media practitioner should consider for reflection. The BBC Liberia correspondent indicated further that inasmuch as the practice is faced with challenges it is important to do away with the issue of blackmailing and other practices that  could demean the profession. 

“Ethics should be stressed; be ethical and have a sense of responsibility in serving the public and what will be written or broadcast could be used by book writers. We always felt in our wisdom that the media should regulate itself on issues of blackmailing and other ethical issues”, he added.

Also speaking, veteran journalist now Chief of Party of Carter Center, Pewee Flomoku has urged journalists to continue playing their traditional role in informing the public through the songs that are played and news written or broadcast. 

“I am happy that individual journalists are all part of the celebration as this is done every year  considering its own activities”, he noted. The way of reportage can either better or worsen the lives of people in the country and as such all journalists are urged to remain focus regardless of what they are faced with and do due  diligence to the public.

The Carter Center Chief of Party noted also that low salaries and other fringe benefits for journalists play a key role to their duty, indicating further that it is what they depend on to have their families fed and there is a need to have it addressed.

The celebration brought together UN institutions, civil society organizations, government, local and international NGOs and other auxiliaries of the union. Delivering the keynote address on behalf of Special Representative of Secretary General of the United Nations in Liberia, Marcel Akpovo, UNMIL chief of human rights and protection said in a “post-truth” world with “fake news” on the rise, and media accountability and credibility falling under question, free, independent and professional journalism has never been more important, the United Nations today said.

“We need leaders to defend a free media. This is crucial to counter prevailing misinformation. And we need everyone to stand for our right to truth,” Secretary-General António Guterres said in a message to mark World Press Freedom Day.

This year's theme highlights media's role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies and builds on the theme 'Critical Minds for Critical Times.' The 2017 commemoration comes at a time when “free, independent and pluralistic media has never been so important to empower individual women and men, strengthen good governance and the rule of law, and take forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural (UNESCO) said in a statement.

“We need leaders to defend a free media. This is crucial to counter prevailing misinformation. And we need everyone to stand for our right to truth,” Secretary-General António Guterres said in a message to mark World Press Freedom Day.

This year's theme highlights media's role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies and builds on the theme 'Critical Minds for Critical Times.' The 2017 commemoration comes at a time when “free, independent and pluralistic media has never been so important to empower individual women and men, strengthen good governance and the rule of law, and take forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural (UNESCO) said in a statement.

The agency is also tasked with defending press freedom and the safety of journalists, and is spearheading the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

“Far too often, murder remains the most tragic form of censorship,” UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in her message on the Day, noting that 102 journalists were killed in 2016. 

She noted that “facing a crisis of audience identity, journalism stands before a horizon where old challenges are merging with new threats,” which include the Internet's blurring of the lines between advertising and editorial material, businesses pushing for profits and private censorship.

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