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Don’t mislead the public – journalists warned

The Chairperson of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights, Cllr. Gladys Johnson, has challenged media practitioners in the country to report facts about happenings in the society. Cllr. Johnson stressed that the journalism profession should not be taken for granted by reporting misleading information to the public.

She said journalists are people, who have a duty to inform the public about events and happenings in the country. The INCHR chairperson told reporters that their reportage should base on facts gathered in the field which will prove them correct at any time.

Speaking Monday, November 3, 2014 at the YMCA in Monrovia during  celebration of International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on the theme, “Breaking the culture of impunity; creating a safe climate for journalism in Liberia, Cllr. Johnson stressed that the environment must be safe for journalists to enable them carry out their functions in the society, adding that the idea of providing safe environment for media practitioners is to allow them  to report accurate and balance story without fear of harassment.

The Liberian human rights practitioner said the fact that no journalist is killed or put in prison does not mean that they are not under threat, saying, “They are under threat and the society must be safe which will put end to false reporting in the country.” She said media practitioners play a significant role in every society around the world.

Meanwhile, the Independent National Commission on Human Rights boss has also frowned on media executives here for not putting adequate measures in place that will balance their reportage in the society.

She said journalists should build their reportage on facts, because the general public depends on the media to report the actual information which will make them more professional in the society.

Cllr. Johnson said the Commission is working to ensure that the rights of every media personnel are protected, saying, “Our work is to protect, fight, and promote human rights in the society.”

“One of the best ways”, she continued, “to eradicate impunity is for every journalist to do a follow up on story”, noting that most journalists in the country don’t see it necessary to follow up in their reportage.

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