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

Newspaper Publishers, Owners To Endorse
Presidential Candidate In 2023?

The Publishers Association of Liberia (PAL’s) newly inducted president says newspaper publishers and owners are advancing discussions for the first time to endorse a presidential candidate who they believe has the right platform to move Liberia forward for the next six years.

PAL said as they move towards the upcoming 2023 General and Presidential Elections, there are ongoing discussions among members to at least for the first time in the Republic of Liberia to see whether it is possible to endorse a presidential candidate who they believe has the right platform.

Mr. Othello Garblah, Managing Editor of the New Dawn Newspaper and PAL’s President-elect for second term made these comments when he was inducted in office on Friday, December 16, in Monrovia.

He said while Liberia’s new dispensation of democracy has led to the upsurge of more than 30 newspapers, unfortunately the print media in Liberia is yet to benefit directly from the much-publicized international goodwill economically.

Surprisingly, Garblah advanced further that the print media, nucleus of the traditional media is victim of local implementing partners’ conspiracy theory to keep the media in poverty, despite millions of donors’ funding sent to Liberia for media development and assistance projects.

He however continued that in the face of COVID-19 Pandemic, media economic sustainability for ethical journalism is still unattended to, and as other important sectors like governance, rule of law, and energy are under resuscitation by the international community, the Liberian print media continue to languish in poverty and misery.

“Media experts have also opined at various media-related gatherings that for the traditional media mainly the print to uphold its ethical standards, and help fight abuse and waste.

It would largely require media development partners to economically support the media through grants, investigative projects and other sustainable programs that would propel the capacity of this sector as the country prepares for very crucial Presidential and Legislative elections, come 2023,” Garblah noted.

He believed that these media experts think that instead of donors spending millions on workshops; it is about time that the international donors refocus their attention on media economic empowerment projects.

“But it is a known fact the government and the Liberian press are on a collision course emanating and developing from confidence crisis. This apparent misunderstanding between the two is negatively affecting the media’s economic survival,” the New Dawn editor intimated.

The media is of the view that the government sidelined the sector and politicized adverts due to its apparent critical posture following the 2017 elections, such as the payments of media debts coupled with COVID-19.

The media remain the victim of bad economy and global pandemic, as several media houses are shutting down and qualified journalists trooping to state-operative institutions, and the once vibrant professional sector is lying in poverty, while international donor communities waste their resources on unscrupulous implementing partners.

The second situation as problem has to do with the lack of due payments by members stressing that knowing Liberians for not paying dues, PAL is no exception as members have failed to pay their respective dues despite demands for benefits.

He pointed out that PAL over the last few years have been able to work with some donor partners including Internews, and PUL to come up with some self-regulatory framework documents for practitioners and a standalone draft legislation on the protection of personal data privacy.

We, Garblah stated among many things that through their back-channel negotiation was instrumental in securing funds for some of their colleagues to seek medical attention outside the country.

“We were also able to rally a small purse for one of our ailing colleagues who came down with stroke to help secure medication, and recently made a small contribution to another colleague to seek medical attention. This is part of our social responsibilities to members of our organization.

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