Liberia’s Press Union Opposes Govt. Officials On Community Radios Boards

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.

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Author: D K Sengbeh

Danicius Kaihenneh Sengbeh (author of Sengbeh's Weblog) is a respected and renowned Liberian journalist, poet and writer with with journalism experience since 2001, of working both as a mainstream journalist and a communication/media consultant in Liberia. He is Secretary General of the Press Union of Liberia (elected Dec 2013). He was Assistant Secretary General of the Union Dec 2011 to Dec 2013. He is also Editor-In-Chief of The Informer Newspaper—one of Liberia’s credible dailies. Before joining the Informer, Danicius had served as reporter, chief reporter, sub-editor and News Editor at The Independent Newspaper between 2002 and 2006. Before then, he was reporter at the defunct Patriot Newspaper and Kiss FM 2001-2002. Danicius is a UN Media Fellow and Liberia’s first UN Medal Award-winning journalist for his contribution to journalism and for being the second Liberian journalist in 15 years to qualify for and successfully attended the United Nations’ Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalist Fellowship Program in New York and Geneva, Switzerland in 2012. He earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Mass Communication and Sociology from the University of Liberia and a Diploma in Journalism from the International School of Journalism. He holds several awards and recognitions both in and outside of journalism, and carries dozens of certificates in journalism and communication from studies in Ghana, China, United States and Switzerland, among others. He volunteers as Chair of the Information and Communication Committee of his local Bardnersville community. He can be quickly reached via (+231) 886586531/777586531/777464018/ dakasen1978@yahoo.com

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