Dozens of Liberian journalists around the Country under the banner Press Union of Liberia today joined their colleagues around the world to celebrate the World Press Freedom Day with series of activities befitting this unique day.
The theme for this year celebration, “Improvement of Legal Operating Environment of the Media to Enhance Truth-Telling,” saw journalists during the early hour of today paraded the principle streets of Monrovia with a matching band.
The indoor program was held in the Auditorium of the University of Liberia with speeches from various auxiliaries of the Union including the Reporters Association (RAL), the Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FeJAL) and the Publishers’ Association of Liberia (PAL) among others.
Several local and international NGOs including USAID, Internews, Carter Center, UNMIL and officials of the Liberian Government making remarks at the program while at the same time praised the Liberian media for providing service under difficult circumstances.
The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General to Liberia, Farid Zarif who was selected to be the Keynote Speaker for this year celebration was proxies by the Chief of Human Rights and Protection at UNMIL, Mr. Marcel Akpovo.
Mr. Akpovo in his address on behalf of his boss, congratulated Liberian journalists in the observing of the World Press Freedom Day, and further urged the Liberian media practitioners to be more objective in the performance of their professional duties as journalists.
Mr. Akpovo who himself is a journalist, called on Liberian journalists to fearlessly perform their reportorial duties in the interest of their Country as the much talk about 2017 general and presidential elections draw closer.
For his part, the President of the Press Union of Liberia, Charles Coffey outlined the success story of the Liberia media, stressing that despite of the numerous challenges the Liberian media faced with, it professional services to the public were always noticeable.
Speaking further the PUL President noted that the journalism profession which is a noble profession should not be used recklessly, stressing, “We will have to weed out those bad apples that are bringing disgrace to this noble career. In this case, our plans are underway to provide training to those who are eager to acquire advance knowledge in this profession but are professionally limited. This will help to reduce these ugly situations,” Mr. Coffey noted