Monrovia, Liberia: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says her administration recognizes the pivotal role of the Liberian media have played and continue to play in the development process and challenged journalists to remain critical while acknowledging the progress being made.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf was speaking over the weekend during the induction ceremony of newly elected officers of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) at the Monrovia City Hall in Monrovia. “Let the might in the pen acknowledge the past – bear testimony to the gains and sharpen our preparedness for the future for a better Liberia” – she indicted media practitioners.
The Liberian leader thanked the PUL for having successfully organized free, fair and transparent elections and noted that the union, like all thriving human institutions can be credited for organizing and conducting credible elections.
She observed that “As watchdog of our society, you will concede to our openness in working to ensure freedom of speech and expression without looking over the shoulders of either members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm of our citizenry. Like in every society – where free speech is promoted, we all do appreciate that your critical role comes along with compelling responsibility. That priceless responsibility comes with love and devotion to country,” she underscored.
President Sirleaf assured that her government remains fully committed to upholding the rights of journalists in Liberia. She said the administration has manifested it commitment by the signing of the Table Mountain Declaration and for taking the lead in passing into law the Freedom of Information Act. She then challenged the new PUL President that the task they have set upon yourselves should ensure words are matched by deeds in the best interest of journalists in our country.
Addressing the gathering, the keynote speaker at the induction ceremony, Cameroonian Ambassador, H.E. Gang, called on the media to objectively report the tenure of President Sirleaf as the first Liberian leader and first female President to lead ECOWAS. He said aside the politics, there are a lot of positive things happening that the media should equally highlight.
In his induction speech, PUL President Charles B. Coffey said his administration will forge genuine partnership with the government and the private sector in pursuing good governance.