The Managing Editor of the Inquirer Newspaper has showered praises on all journalists for their professional attitude towards upholding the peace during the electoral process.
Madam Winnie Saywah Jimmy said that the media’s performance during the electoral processes, ranging from the Biometric voters’ Registration (BVR) to a full coverage of the elections, was excellent and worth commending.
“I extend my heartfelt thanks to all reporters who were out there to ensure that the public got the news as it came. You were excellent and exhibited a high level of professionalism during your reportage. I also want to thank all media managers for supporting our staff in the field, as well as the security,” Madam Jimmy said.
The Tuesday, October 24, 2023 announcement of the final results from the October 10, 2023 Legislative and Presidential Elections in the country, put George Weah of the ruling Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) ahead of main opposition, Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party, with 804,087 votes, amounting to 43.83 percent, and 796,961 votes, amounting to 43.44 percent respectively, thereby pushing them into a run-off.
Meanwhile, engaging some international media observers on Monday at her office, Madam Saywah-Jimmy said information on the entire electoral process would not have been available to the public without the journalists who risked their lives to relay the information, noting, “We are not only watchdogs of the society, but we are also its bedrock when it comes to providing information to the public for consumption.”
“Our presence at various polling places and at the NEC’s magisterial offices across the country, also helped to ensure the credibility of the elections, as the public depended on us to report perceived misconducts and unprofessional behavior on the part of the NEC staff. In essence, we were both security and journalists and I want to say hats off to all of us for a job well done,” she said, praising her colleagues.
The Liberian media gave special attention to the full coverage of this year’s election, as many persons have speculated that the elections would have been stained by violence from all sides of the political ales.
Madam Saywah also thanked the UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights for training journalists across the country on how to cover election processes and report election related violence, noting that the benefit of the training was the level of work done by the media.
“We extend special thanks to our colleagues from the UN Human Rights office for training our journalists across the country on peaceful reporting on election activities. And we all are seeing the benefit of the training. Our reporters in the field ensured that their reports were based on facts and not speculation. They did not display any form of biasness, though they all voted. This is what professionalism is; putting your personal feelings aside to do your job,” she pointed out.
She is however calling on the media to exert more efforts as the campaign for the run-off election opened on October 24, and is slated to continue up to November 12, with November 14, 2023 being announced as the date for the run-off election, reminding the media that, that is potentially the most crucial turning point in the nation’s political history.