By S. Siapha Mulbah (Cub Reporter)
The Press Union of Liberia has commenced holding series of media security analysis dialogues to set and end the alarming brutalities faced by journalists from security officers while discharging the duties.
The gathering at the YMCA in Monrovia yesterday with authorities of the Liberia National Police, the Armed Forces of Liberia, the Executive Protection Service and the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency, among many other security institutions discussed the disadvantages in media work posed by securities as well as outline solutions to the problems.
On the contrary, the authorities of the security institutions went in what some of the participants termed as defense of their respective agencies, thereby uncovering the remedies of the splendid aims of the dialogue.
The AFL’s Chief of Staff, Prince C. Johnson and the Director of the EPS, Trokon Roberts said one of several reasons for which journalists may be brutalized is because of their refusal to follow instructions given by state securities at crime scenes and other places of rising crisis.
Police Spokesperson, Moses Carter added that whenever securities set up a barricade or a red-line, the members of the press always flout the commands, and that gives rise to the usage of force by officers to have corridors cleared.
Carter furthered explained that the media and the security are two cardinal groups of the society that need total coordination in order to better scale their working while they bear the full responsibilities that follow professional ethics.
Gen. Johnson along with Moses Carter recommended that the Press Union of Liberia takes cases of brutality meted against its members by securities with serious concerns and follow investigations to logical conclusions.
The security personnel also called on the Union to conduct a performance index of its members to have them aware of their own responsibilities in an effort to curtail falling into the opposite side of the instruction, using the adage “If you do not want the cat to eat the fish, then tell the fish not to smell.”
Liberian journalists and media workers have in the last three years suffered an unprecedented surge in attacks against them in the discharge of their duties.
At the peak of attacks against journalists and media workers in 2019-20, the journalism community led by the Press Union of Liberia petitioned President George Weah on the escalation of violence against the media.
A Presidential Committee was mandated to probe the attacks against journalists and media workers, but to date, nothing has been made public.
To innovate ideas to help curb impunity against journalists in Liberia, the first in a series of conferences will provide the platform for media and security experts to share experiences and as well make recommendations to improve the very important roles of the media & security for the good of the state.
The Media- Security Analysis Dialogue is part of a United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) project: Strengthening Independent Media and Freedom of Information in Liberia which is being led by the Volunteers for Sustainable Development in Africa (VOSEIDA) in partnership with the Press Union of Liberia and the Department of Communications & Media Studies at the University of Liberia.
At Media Security Maiden Analysis Dialogue: Joint Security Justifies Brutality Meted On Journalists
By S. Siapha Mulbah (Cub Reporter)