Media’s Role Underscored
Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) Consumer Manager, Musue Haddad, has told students aspiring to become full-blooded media personnel to pursue their dream, notwithstanding the professional challenges.
Speaking in Proxy of Commissioner Lamini A. Waritay last week at the Montserrado United Students Press Association (MUPSAL) Fourth Anniversary and National Scholarship fund drive launch in Monrovia, Haddad observed that journalism or the press is necessary because people do not really have a say in modern democracy, aside from their votes, unless they are politicians themselves.
“So as you, MUSPAL, move forward in the journalism profession, be constantly reminded of the crucial role journalism plays in society,” she said.
Haddad further told the students that a robust, vibrant, and independent press creates a framework for a more inclusive, participatory way of carrying out development in a nation.
She informed the students that the journalism profession also highlights the accountability of governments and other development actors to fulfill obligations and responsibilities towards their citizens.
“When people freely participate, then we see the tenets of democracy and the positive role of the press at play,” noted Haddad.
Conveying the role of journalism as a window, she told MUSPAL that they can make the window blurry or transparent for citizens and government in a democratic process.
She argued that it is through journalists (seen as window) that the public and politicians see what polices they can buy into. Haddad insists that the opinions and beliefs of the average person have no real influence unless that person is informed, empowered and encouraged to participate in issues that affect their life and their community.
But she said the obligation of information and empowerment is the window that the press provides.
She informed MUSPAL that being a professional journalist is to have the freedom and skills to simplify raw facts given from sources for the understanding of the public.
“Journalism, for better or for worse, is the best example of the freedom of individuals and the importance of free thoughts in a democracy, and that freedom includes simplified information that citizens can comprehend for their empowerment,” said Haddad.
However, Musue Haddad observed that, except Liberians adequately prepare themselves academically to be qualified in various disciplines, the country will lag in its development and progress.
She said as Liberians alone have the greatest responsibility to develop their country, it is only logical that they prepare themselves academically for the responsibility of nation building.
Considering the importance of education, she, on behalf of Commissioner Waritay, pledged to pay the tuition for two students (male and female) studying media/communications at the University of Liberia for the next academic calendar.