The Head of the Secretariat of the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives (LEITI), Mr. Konah D. Karmo has cautioned journalists to report factual and credible stories about the extractive sector of Liberia.
Speaking at the start of a one day workshop for journalists covering the extractive sector organized by the Extractive Media Watch (EMW) recently, Mr. Karmo said “in order for journalists to find a place in the kind of work LEITI is engaged with, they must make sure that the reports they give out to the public are credible and based on thorough investigation.”
He noted that it is the hope of LEITI that reports from Journalists covering the sector will be credible and balanced. He added that the extractive sector is a very sensitive sector in which people get swayed by the
report they get form the media.
Mr. Karmo also used that occasion to caution journalists against some of the temptations that may came their way in the discharge of their duties, adding that in the extractive sector, you will be working against some of the powerful forces who will sometimes tend to influence your work.
He noted: “Your only true reliance will be truth telling and credible reporting; and by that, we think that journalists can foster the work of the LEITI, which is more about information sharing and dissemination. We believe that at the LEITI, we cannot succeed in doing our work without the media being a part.”
For his part, the Vice President of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), Mr. Jallah Grayfield thanked LEITI for the support that they continue to render to the Extractive Media Watch, and called on other organizations in the country to follow suit.
He noted that with more support from LEITI, the media will be empowered and more aggressive in reporting on developments in the extractive sector. He used the occasion to caution journalists to be more robust in reporting on extractive issues.
He indicated that “the people of Liberia will be listening to hear about what is happening to the natural resources of the country.” In a brief remark, the Coordinator of the Extractive Media Watch, Mr. Roland Perry thanked the LEITI for the partnership with EMW and the support to the work of journalists following the sector.
He called on participants to take the training seriously, so that they can be better prepared to report information concerning the extractive sector taking place in their various counties. He noted that “the goal of this project is to enhance media capacity to adequately report on the extractive sector of Liberia. The project also seeks to help strengthen media understanding of the EITI process and help increase their participation and involvement in promoting transparency and accountability in the extractive sector through an up-to-date reporting.”
Mr. Perry also used the occasion to call on other organizations to support the work of the media, so that journalists will be fully prepared to report extractive issues from an informed background.
Also speaking at the program, the officer-in-charge of the Liberia Media Center, Mr. Dklonnious Blamo lauded the media group for the training, noting that he believes that the exercise will provide more insights on the extractive sector.
He said he hope that the knowledge acquired by the participants will be used to inform the public on happenings in the extractive sector. The training workshop is part of a grant received from the Africa Development Bank through LEITI for capacity building for journalists covering the extractive sector of Liberia. The grant is further intended to empower CSOs and the media to help citizens understand and participate in the extractive sector.
The workshop brought together journalists from Bomi, Cape Mount, Gbarpolu and Montserrado Counties. Other counties are; Grand Bassa, Rivercess and Margibi. The second phase of the training workshop is scheduled to take place in Nimba County for journalists in the central and south-eastern parts of the country.-Press Release