Inter-news Liberia is leading implementation of the Liberia Media Development (LMD) along with five international and local partners through a grant awarded by the United States Agency for International Development or USAID.
The LMD program seeks to strengthen the Liberian media to be more sustainable and independent as well as ensures citizens have access to reliable information to make informed decisions. The program, which is expected to be implemented up to September 2020, targets several community radio stations across the country.
The Community Media Forum (CMF) is one of the earmarked activities to be implemented periodically under objective #2 of the LMD implementation framework, which seeks to ensure that multiplicity of voices are represented in the Liberian media .
The CMF is a media community outreach initiative under the LMD aimed at stimulating debate among community stakeholders, including ordinary citizens around issues of accountability and transparency at the local level, while increasing citizens’ access to information on programs or projects that directly impact their lives through participatory media engagements.
As a means of implementation, the CMF Inter-news in collaboration with the Voice of Grand Kru under the Liberia Media Development (LMD) Program over the weekend held a day-long Special Community Media Forum (CMF) in BarclayVille, Grand Kru County.
Panelists at the forum discussed issues that promote democracy and prevent election violence through dialogue. According to the Community Radios Advisor, Sonnie Morris, the CMF is part of Inter-news program that seeks to foster peaceful electoral environment and to promote democratic virtues following the first leg of Presidential election held on 10 October 2017.
Four panelists addressed the forum, representing Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and institutions, the National Elections Commission especially, Election Magistrates, Public Defender, representatives from women and youth groups, respectively.
The special CMF provides a space for citizens to have their say in governance. Cross section of citizens, who spoke to this paper in Barclay Ville note that such discussion, is a sign of good democracy.
Sonnie Morris told participants at the forum to remain attentive as they will understand the meaning of the Supreme Court’s recent decision and ensure that they have access to better information.
By George K. Momo from Grand Kru