May 3, 2011 is World Press Freedom Day-a day to commemorate the struggle for the creation of the enabling environment for mass media activities with hurdles. It is also an event to appreciate the journalists-dead and alive, and their achievements in fostering press freedom and free speech throughout the world. Liberian journalists are joining thousands of their colleagues the world-over in commemorating the important day in the journalism profession.
Unfortunately, Liberian journalists are still mourning the loss of our cornerstone-the pillar of the Press Union of Liberia, the late Stanton Peabody just interred last weekend as we celebrating World Press Freedom day 2911. Nevertheless, despite his demise, his legacies will continue to live with our professional lives as members of the PUL, whose existence his ideals initiated in 1964.
As we celebrate this day in Liberia, we must continue to adhere to the principles of good journalism we exercise the responsibilities of informing, educating and entertaining those who require such from us. In so doing, we must be very cognizant of the fact the in discharging our duties and responsibilities as journalists, we are equally Liberians-something we became before becoming journalists, and that all must be done to promote the current peace and ongoing development initiatives by the Government of Liberia, the international Community and us all.
Our understanding of Press Freedom and Free Speech must never be that we are indeed above the law, but in line with the laws of our country. We must also bare in mind that the truth should always be our guide, despite whatever comes our way in the performance of our responsibilities-we must strike a balance; we must ensure fairness; and the issue of accuracy must form part of our judgment in our output.
As we celebrate this day, may we also appreciate the government of Liberia for the current environment for the media. Our gratitude must also be extended to representatives of the international community in Liberia for helping to maintain such media environment.
We look forward to a more truthful partnership, and not one on the basis of mere interest as some organizations are currently doing. As we celebrate our day, WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY-2011 in Liberia, we at THE NEW DAWN-Liberia commend all journalists in Liberia, Africa and the world for their commitment and resolve to ensure that whether ‘rain or shine’, the NEWS must go.
For our colleagues who once were with us in the struggle amid all odds, but departed this world, their efforts will continue to be remembered, while we perservere here. May their souls and those of the fateful departed rest in peace perfect and light shine upon them.
Congratulations to us all as we celebrate WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY-2011.