The NewDawn newspaper, one of Liberia’s leading privately run local dailies, has formally complained to authorities at the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA), the unruly outburst and use of invectives by one of its members identified as Cllr. Steward Stubblefield against a staff of the media entity, Winston W. Parley.
In the communicated dated 24 June and addressed to LNBA president Cllr. Tiawon S. Gongloe, the NewDawn newspaper, through its Copy Editor Winston W. Parley, complains that Cllr. Steward Stubblefield publicly insulted the journalist repeatedly in the courtroom during a hearing on Wednesday, 24 June at Criminal Court “C,” Temple of Justice.
According to journalist Parley, Cllr. Stubblefield used a laundry list of invectives on him (Parley) simply because he had pleaded with the lawyer to kindly lower his voice because his private conversation in the courtroom with a companion was overshadowing the voices of those in the case and it was hindering journalists nearby from taking accurate notes.
“In the midst of so many people including media colleagues- Caesar Slapeh, Augustine Tweah, Taishar, some lawyers and a lady who is pursuing a container case against the NPA, Cllr. Stubblefield used a laundry list of invectives on me simply because I had pleaded with him to kindly lower his voice,” the complaint says.
The complaint was delivered in the office of the LNBA president on Ashmum Street Thursday, 25 June and received by the relevant office staff.
“When told that I would officially complain him to the LNBA for his continuous use of invectives on me, he intensified his abusive language while at the same time identifying himself as Cllr. Steward Stubblefield and bragged that I could do nothing to him,” it continues.
According to journalist Parley, Cllr. Stubblefield claimed that because he had a Master Degree in journalism and he had practiced as a journalist, it was wrong for him (Parley) to take notes of his own at the hearing, suggesting that all the journalist needed was to grab court’s minutes.
The NewDawn Editor states that it is out of respect for both professions that he wrote the complaint to the LNBA president Cllr. Gongloe because in his estimation, his kind appeal to Cllr. Stubblefield did not warrant his unruly outburst. “And it also betrayed the harmonious relationship between the media and law practitioners here,” he concludes.