The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

All Hail Female Media Managers, Leading With Distinction

The paradigm is shifting; the playing field is leveling. Journalism in Liberia to some extent is tolerating not just women’s participation, but women’s leadership in the media. In this month of March, my spectacle focuses on the laudable and resilient rising stars of women on the stage of media leadership.

In a culturally inherent male-dominant society like ours, we, men in good faith should celebrate even the minority of women who have braved the odds to sit in the realm of media leadership in different spheres of the Liberian media landscape. Hats off to gallant women of the media in Liberia.

Notably, the first quarter of 2023 (January to March) saw two female media leaders who climbed higher heights in their professional endeavors. The Vice president of the Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FeJAL), Mrs. Christiana Winnie Saywah-Jimmy ascended to the position of Managing Editor of the Inquirer Newspaper which she served since 2001 with a break in between. Ms. Tetee Coleman Karneh also rose to the position of Chief Executive Officer for Spoon Group of Companies that owns several outlets including Spoon FM, Fabric FM and Super FM. Tetee had served for more than three (3) years as General Manager at Spoon.

In the same vein of women strives, the only female community Radio Manger in Liberia, Ms. Jenneh Kemokai of Radio Cape Mount won an award styled,” Excellent Journalism Award in Environmental Reporting”, from the Association of Liberia Community Radio (ALICOR), funded by USAID Liberia Media Activity, managed by Internews Liberia. Ms. Kemokai sits in inconsiderate male environment that does not have a female elected official among the ALICOR Executives since the days of Martha Wisseh who once served as Vice President ended.

Women leadership is also at work at ECOWAS Radio (former UNMIL Radio), where unsurpassable Newscaster Eva Flomo coordinates the affairs of the regionally branded development radio. Unlike, many radio stations in Liberia, ECOWAS Radio is unique in scope and philosophy. It is limited to Liberia in audience coverage for now, still the radio is believed to exist as a pilot regional communication approach that enhances the mission of the parent body, the Economic Community of West African States.

Spotlighting the female media network led by Mrs. Siatta Scott Johnson, one could dichotomize the upright good over the controversy. The Female Journalists Association of Liberia ( FeJAL) received a huge political gift like the Press Union of Liberia(PUL), but the difference is FeJAL utilizes its version for institutional benefits unlike the PUL. May I opinionate this much, FeJAL possesses and maintains a standardized, and decently well-positioned office befitting a national umbrella organization of the Fourth Estate of Liberia. Say what you want, the leadership of Mrs. Siatta Scott Johnson has raised the bar of a decent media coordinating office in Liberia. It is left with the Press Union of Liberia, once its in-fight ends, and the Association of Liberia Community Radio (ALICOR), a gender insensitive auxiliary, to rise up to the occasion of retiring mediocrity at their residences.

The Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) is a center of attraction and less conflict zone today as opposed to the past. In less than two (2) years LBS retired many of its old hands (experienced workforce) to give space to new and younger faces. Reflecting on the LBS we all know, this transition would have prompted publicized conflicts and protest especially in a challenging economy like Liberia. All went well because of good leadership. Good and collective leadership at LBS lies on the shoulders of the young female, Mrs. Estelle Liberty Kemoh who passed through the skillful hands of Media Guru, Aaron Kollie of Power FM/TV. Today’s reality of young people leading their peers is not as smooth as you may think. We live in a materialistic era where unrealistic ambitions facilitate undermining against progress. There may be rough edges at LBS, but the truth is leadership is at work considerably.

I end on this note by saluting foundational women leaders in the media who are largely supporting and continuously lifting their gender on the stage. The Likes of Prof. Weade Kobbah-Boley who over the years has served the media community as a giant female Media Developer, Mrs. Elizabeth Hoff- the First Female President of the Press Union of Liberia, and Mrs. Torwon Sulonteh Brown- FeJAL’s former Coordinator. All of you active female media actors are recognized for the individual and collective roles you play in leadership and in the newsrooms. Keep pushing! We give flowers to our foreign female media developers, particularly the Chief of Party at Internews Liberia, Ms. Lien Bach, and the Executive Director of New Narratives- Prue Clarke.

Obviously, we have a long way to go. We have to maximize our skills in media development. We have to lead the Liberian media in strategic innovation to affect income generation for sustainable independent reporting- media as business. We have to stimulate loyalty to Journalism as a fraternity.

For now, we all hail female media managers this time.

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