The European Union Head of Delegation to Liberia Ambassador Laurent Delahousse could be of great help in strengthening the press in Liberia by specifically identifying media institutions in the country that he claimed received money to write derogatory articles against Liberia’s Foreign Minister Dee Maxwell Saah Kemayah, who he described as his friend rather than to leave such dark cloud to linger perpetually on the entire media landscape of Liberia.
Making remark Monday, May31, 2021 at a Roundtable in Monrovia, the EU Envoy sweepingly accused the media of targeting his good friend, Minister Kemayah, who was accused by a former female staff of sexual harassment, while serving in New York.
Undisputedly, the EU is a strong partner of Liberia that has supported various sectors of the country, including the media in our developmental drive. But for Ambassador Delahousse to have made such blanketed indictment against the Liberian media is least expected and highly disappointing.
The media in Liberia is still grappling to understand how could a foreign diplomat, attempting to defend a friend while speaking at a media roundtable would bundle all journalists in the country into one category. It is quite unfortunate.
However, we hasten to call on the EU Head of Delegation to work with the Liberian media to identify and shame those media houses allegedly involved in such unprofessional practices in order to safeguard ethical journalism and acknowledge sacrifices made by Liberian journalists over the years in promoting good governance, free speech, tolerance pluralistic democracy.
Specifically, this can be achieved by working with the Press Union of Liberia or the Publishers Association of Liberia in bringing those involved in mercenary journalism to book. The journalism profession is not a license for character assignation and should not be condoned in Liberia.
Instead, the media is an effective tool for societal transformation, peace, unity and growth, aspirations that the Liberian media subscribes to and preaches.
Both the PUL and the PAL would never encourage or condone any practice that could bring the media here to disrepute and erode public confidence in its work.
We believe strongly that the EU collaborating with the Liberian media in strengthening quality and ethical standards would go a long way in not just promoting and sustaining Liberia’s socio-economic development, but attracting more assistance from our foreign partners.
The sooner Ambassador Delahousse provide copies of specific newspaper publications of such derogatory articles against his best friend the easier it will be in knowing those media institutions bent on tainting the good image of the Liberian media.