Liberian journalists attending the 3rd Tri-Annual Congress of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) in Ganta, Nimba County, have reaffirmed their commitment and support to a strong and effective self-regulation system, as a way of preserving the integrity of the media.
The Congress participants voted unanimously to approve a new self-regulatory body, known as The National Media Council alongside the Revised Code of Ethics for Liberian journalists.
The Council is established for the purpose of self-regulating media accountability and professional conduct in Liberia, pursuant to the journalism Code of Ethics.
With the approval of the Media Council, the PUL Grievance and Ethics Committee and/or the Media Complaints Committee will now cease to exist.
The membership of the Council is drawn from sectors of the society, which includes: three media representatives, two representatives from the religious community and one each from civil society organizations, women groups, academia, and the legislature.
The Council members will be chosen through a competitive process, following which the group will go through an orientation and be formally launched.
Among other things, the Council will undertake appropriate and proactive measures to ensure adherence to the highest journalistic standards, including investigation, mediation and settlement of complaints made against or by the press.
A PUL release acknowledges the support of USAID in strengthening media self-regulation in Liberia, which is part of a bigger media law reform package being implemented by Internews.
It is hoped that the launch of the Council will inject additional public confidence and compliment on-going efforts to decriminalize press offenses in Liberia.