The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has opposed the idea of government officials serving as board members of community radios and has called for their immediate substitution.

The PUL in a release issued Tuesday (July 13, 2010) renewed its earlier calls for the “replacement of all politicians and government officials on the boards of community radio stations across the country.”

The Union said this is meant to guarantee the “independence” of these community radio stations, some of which operations have been interfered with by some county Superintendents in the past.

In a related development, the PUL has backed the decision of The Association of Liberia Community Radio (ALICOR) to ask Mr. Christian Chea to resign from the leadership of the Association to pursue his political ambition.

Mr. Chea, who was ALICOR’s Vice President for Administration and Station Manager of the Community Radio in River Gee, is a contestant in the Representative by-election in that county.

The PUL urged ALICOR to remain vigilant for such individuals like Mr. Chea who are known partisans in their ranks and have them removed.

The Union reminded media practitioners of Article seven of the Code of Conduct which says among other things that a journalist should put himself/herself above partisan and ideological cleavages in order to give greater prominence to the norms and professional practices.

The “PUL upholds the freedom of any journalist to aspire for public office, but such freedom should not be exercise at the expense of the integrity of the media. We therefore call on those operating in the realm of partisan politics to honorably retire from the practice,” the Union’s release signed by its President Peter Quaqua stated.

Meanwhile, the Union said it has received a complaint from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs against the Parrot Newspaper and will pass the complaint over its Grievance and Ethics Committee to consider the matter.