Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor, Sr. says he is a target of wrong [media] reportage, asserting that journalists here “sometimes make us look like monsters.”
“I have been the target of wrong reportage,” Chief Justice Korkpor declared Saturday, 13 April at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia at the climax of a Specialized Judicial Reporting training of journalists covering the Judiciary here.
He argues that since he took over as head of the Judicial Branch of government, he has allowed flexibility, provided office space for assigned journalists at the Temple of Justice to enable them to do their work easily.
He recognizes that a good number of journalists here are professional, but he equally observes that some other journalists give the wrong impression for some other reasons.
He, however, acknowledges that in a democratic situation, it is better for the people to speak out.
Chief Justice Korkpor assures that he is not enemy to anybody, including the reporters, as he would not have provided them an office space if he saw them as adversaries.
“Please, I just want you to report the truth. That’s all,” he emphasizes.The Chief Justice declares to judicial reporters that “we are friends of the media,” and emphasizes further that the Judiciary is friend of the media also.
He encourages journalist to see their work as complementing that of the judiciary, saying “we need you” in order to get to the public (to inform them about) what has been done in the court, and you need “us” in order to be able to sell your newspapers.
“But sometimes you make us look like monsters. That is true. Some of us come from human rights background, like me. Some of you are very young to know that,” he says.
Chief Justice Korkpor recalls taking cases for newspapers years ago in his capacity as human rights advocate, and financing them when they were taken to court.
But while he is now in authority as Chief Justice, he laments that some of the reporting are making him to look like he is against the media and he is here to do bad.
He notes that the public affairs bureau at the Temple of Justice is established to work like the clearing house, challenging journalists to seek clarity there on issues that they not know or to even contact his office once they cannot get the officers at the public affairs.
The five days training was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Liberia Media Development (LMD) program, and spearheaded by Internews.
It covered the Role of the Judiciary in the Context of the Rule of Law and National Development, the Techniques and the Dos and Don’ts in Reporting Litigation, the Layers of the Court System, Legal Jargons, among others.By Winston W. Parley