The media, in any society the world-over, is considered as an agenda setter, mirror or watch-dog of society, etc., etc. Such considerations given the media by society are in consonance with the transformational role of this sector. Towards this end, many countries in the world have and continue to succeed, in that the sector has been able to write the wrongs by exposing societal ills and advancing proposals/recommendations for improvements and progress by way of the information members of the sector disseminate to the public.
The media in Liberia is no exception to all that are being done elsewhere in the world, except that growth and maturity, as well as under-capitalization continue to remain our problems. The economic constraints which are responsible for such under-capitalization will continue to exist within the Liberian media community due to our inability to attract investment opportunities within the sector, probably because of perceptions outside of the media.
That, we believe should not, in anyway, even hamper our resolve as professionals to persevere to our unending journalistic sojourn, even though most of us in Liberia thrive on the path of personality, other than issues in our work, utterance and interactions. It is our ardent hope that as our country enters the much talk-about “2011”, the period of electioneering, all eyes and ears will be directed at the media in Liberia.
Expectations are very high-the reason being that the people of Liberia, whether educated or not, are greatly dependent on us to provide all of the necessary information, education/sensitization, as well as encouragements/motivations so as to freely register with the National Elections Commission as qualified voters and vote in October this year.
This, of course, will require the highest degree of understanding of election issues, including the geo-politics of Liberia so that what we present to our people and electorates will not be characterized un-necessary sentiments and partisanship. In 2011, Liberian journalists must be seen as reporting the information in line with the principles of good journalism to include accuracy and clarity, without fear or favor to a particular political party or politician.
We are indeed aware of the current economic problems confronting us as journalists and a sector, but we must stay above the fray against all odds to do our best for a successful election year in Liberia. We must also be cognizant of the fact that political parties and politicians will bring forth all sorts of temptations, but we must be in the position to resist at all cost as “Jesus after his 40-day fast on the Mount.”
We must do away with “yellow and mercenary journalism” which have hunted our noble profession for the past five years. In 2011, the facts and all sides of the information must also be our guide, and we must be able to provide a common ground in events wherein there are controversies, so that our people can have the opportunity to understand the issues to make good and sound decisions. Doing all of these would be very meaningful in our efforts to sustain and foster peace, unity and true democracy in our motherland, LIBERIA.