A bill seeking to grant autonomy to the Liberia News Agency or LINA, currently within the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism has been submitted to the House of Representatives.
According to Sinoe County District#2 Representative Jay Nagbe Sloh, immediate past Director-General of LINA, the autonomy will attract much needed financial and technical support that the agency badly needs from bilateral and multilateral partners, and put Liberia on par with other functional democracies in the free world.
He notes that LINA is a dream of the former Organization of African Unity, now AU during one of the continental organization’s summit hosted in Liberia in 1979. According to him, LINA was supposed to remain with the Ministry of Information for only two years in line with global practice.
Rep. Sloh argues that last year he attended a meeting of directors general of state news agencies in Morocco and Burkina Faso, but Liberia was the only country that still has its news agency under the Ministry of Information, and a decision was taken to stop calling such bodies agencies because an agency should not be hosted by agency.
The Sinoe lawmaker says it is his way of giving back to the entity he once served, vowing to do all it takes to ensure that LINA and the state-run Liberia Broadcasting System reach the greatest potential in the media landscape of the country.
The objective of LINA is to seek, obtain and otherwise receive through subscription payment exchange or other means international, regional, local and other news, news material and news features.
By Bridgett Milton