On Friday, January 22, 2010, The New Dawn Newspaper, a newly established bilingual (English and French) in Liberia, made its debut on the news stand.
The New Dawn is truly an independent and non-partisan paper, which is published by the Searchlight Communications Incorporated. The paper’s debut on the news stand was followed by an official launching ceremony held at the PA Rip House in Sinkor, Airfield, Monrovia. Several dignitaries, including diplomats, government officials, investors, media executives among others attended the ceremony.
In his welcome remarks at the launching ceremony, Mr. Othello B. Garblah, The New Dawn’s Editor, restated the mission of the paper, stressing “The New Dawn main objective is to promote the practice of professional journalism, sustainable democracy, respect for human rights and good governance.”
“The New Dawn shall provide wider coverage on developmental trends in the country, highlight the country’s changing investment climate, and promote the activities of both local and international non-governmental organizations working in various sectors and regions of the country, as well as report on social, governmental and economic situations of the country. The paper commits itself to upholding and demonstrating professional ethical standards in carrying out all of its activities,” Mr. Garblah reiterated.
The noble profession, some critics say, has been reduced to the point where instead of playing our watch-dogs role we have become instruments of personal vendetta, stooges and anything goes even to the point that some “respected and most senior journalists” are using their media to fight personal battles, claiming to be in the public interest, but rather satisfying their personal egos-getting even with old time and new enemies and sowing seeds of discord.
Some see nothing wrong with some public or private officials simply because of the handouts, while others have queued their minds to just destroy certain people, because of past or present affiliations without observing basis journalistic standards. As long as he/she belongs to this or that party, nothing good can be said about him or her in this or that media.
But we believe it is time to raise that standard of professional journalism once more. We think it is time to do away with personal opinions, inferences and personal judgments and deal with established facts as we observe all the basis tenets of professional journalism and ethics.
It is time that we deal with issues. For an example, educate the public on what does it mean to increase the education, health and agriculture budgets and decrease that of justice and defense.
What does it take to get good roads and infrastructure, what are the inconveniences and consequences in getting better roads and good infrastructure? What does it mean to have a good investment climate and what it means to have a corrupt system in place?
We, at The New Dawn, further think that it is time for us media practitioners to wake up to the reality. Our society depends on us and the best way is for us to adopt this paradigm shift. The public deserves to be educated, not un–educating the public.