The Information Ministry has rejected as “incorrect and sensational the unbalanced news story” that appeared on the front-page of the Wednesday, August 5, edition of the New Democratic Newspaper stating that Justices of the Supreme Court refused Nissan jeeps because they were “low class”.
The Ministry says it is “extremely disappointed” in the “poor and propagandistic manner” of journalism being exhibited by the Publisher of the New Democrat newspaper.
According to the Ministry, the story was not verified with authorities of the Supreme Court to counterbalance what the paper considers its’ findings, the ministry said in a release issued Wednesday.
It noted that such poor journalistic practice runs contrary to Article 19 of the Code of Ethics and Conduct of the Press Union of Liberia, which states that “journalist should make adequate enquiries and cross-check facts before publication/broadcast.”
The release described Justices of the Korkpor Bench as “humble and sensitive individuals who continue to balance their humility with the dignity befitting the portfolio they hold.”
The Ministry then clarified that Associate Justices of the Supreme Court prefer more durable and long-lasting vehicles contrary to the New Democrat’s report stating that there is a new judicial policy in place at the Supreme Court that requires Justices to directly supervise Courts within their assigned region by visiting them.
The ministry explained that Justices of the Supreme Court were using vehicles that were issued to them nine years ago and that the vehicles have outlived their usefulness, with reported stories of Justices vehicles breaking down with them in the streets.
It recognized the freedom of all, including the media, to express themselves and offer criticisms against any Branch of the Government, but added that it will resist and reject news reports that have the tendency of demonizing and exposing any Branch of the Government to unfair public anger.
“This is important because the cost of the vehicle is by far less than the amount reported by the New Democrat Newspaper,” the release pointed out.