Nagbe urges payment of media debts
By Lincoln G. Peters
Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA) Commissioner Eugene Lenn Nagbe has called on government agencies and public officials to settle their financial obligation with media entities.
Nagbe believes that this will help to empower and enable media entities to properly pay their employees.
The LiMA boss made the call over the weekend when he inducted newly elected officials of the Reporters Association of Liberia (RAL) into office.
He suggested that it’s very prudent that all government institutions and public officials settle their financial obligations with the media.
According to the former Information Minister, settling media debts will help media owners to stop underpaying their reporters and staff.
He observed that many studies have pointed to the critical role that journalists play in preventing conflict in a country.
As such, Mr. Nager said they must be properly prepared and paid for this delicate work.
“We have all, including [me], played lip service to finding solutions for the unacceptable situation that we find reporters in,” Nagbe confessed.
“Now it’s the time to find [a] practical and lasting solution to the dismal situation where reporters are underpaid, underequipped, undervalued while we ask them to perform a very critical national function,” he said.
Commissioner Nagbe stated that he has concluded that if reporters have to be paid properly, those in public service, not just the government, must begin to settle their obligations with media entities.
“We must support the media by giving them rightful business and advertising,’’ said Commissioner Nagbe.
He explained that the Reporters Association through its leadership has a role to play in this venture.
He said this can be done by advocating and insisting that the responsible parties respect the rights of all reporters. Nagbe indicated that this is his position.
The Reports Association of Liberia over the weekend inducted into office a new team of leaders to run the affairs of the institution for the next four years.
The program was held at the Sinkor Palace Hotel, formerly known as the Millennium Guest House in Congo Town.
Those inducted into office include journalist Willie N. Tokpah, Sr, of the FrontPage Africa Newspaper, president; Vice President Henscin Dehgar of Truth FM; Augustine Saah, Secretary General; Bobby M. Tingba, Assistant Secretary-General; and Esther D. Johnson, Financial Secretary.
Delivering his inaugural speech, the group’s president Willie N. Tokpah expressed excitement, and joy over the turning of power over to his leadership.
Tokpah said they will make sure that their quest to protect and advocate for journalists comes through.
“An inauguration is about far more than welcoming a new president. It is an occasion that is both solemn and joyous – it’s a moment for us reporters to reaffirm the foundational values that have shaped the RAL from where it was,” said Tokpah.
“It is a time to reflect on the curve of a common journey and to commit to bringing our collective visions, talents, and diversity of experience and perspective to bear in new and innovative ways,’’ he noted.
The RAL president reminded his colleagues of the challenges they will face in the elections period, recounting a series of brutalities faced by many journalists in the past.
However, Mr. Tokpan suggested that it’s imperative for reporters to also do their work with caution and uphold ethical standards and observe their terrain as they move on.