The tactics being applied by some media practitioners that the best way their ‘eye catching’ news item can take the lead in their papers and airwaves is to paint the reputation of individuals and institute black or slander their hard earned reputation just for little or nothing at their detriment.
One particular instance which has drawn the attention of this writer giving him the edge to put-pen-to-paper, is the manner in which a ostensible group calling itself ‘Reporters Association of Liberia’ or RAL in one of their ‘sponsored press statements’ slandered the management of the NPA of throwing journalists out of its premises, an information bewilders many Liberians including this writer.
What also baffled this writer is, despite effort currently been applied by the NPA management to make the entity meet international standard, individuals with bad intent are sleeplessly working around clock to derail such a laudable strive under the guise of “Reporters Association of Liberia,” a non-entity that has no legal status, but is bent on tarnishing the reputation of well meaning individuals in our society.
This smear campaign being launched by detractors will in no way help the entity in its strive to boost the economic growth of Liberia and its people, but rather pull down those efforts made over the years to bring the Port on par with other standard ports around the world.
At the same time, Liberians who have realized the high level of work being done by the current management team at the NPA are seriously disturbed by the level of misinformation contained in one of Liberia’s local dailies, the Inquirer Newspaper story captioned “NPA Throws Journalist Out”, published in its February, 2012 edition.
Management believes as a reputable media institution, the Inquirer did a disservice to its stellar reputation and to the conscience of its unsuspecting loyal readers by allowing its sacred pages to be used to propagate falsehood and half truths.
The Inquirer could have known these facts if it exerted the minimum amount of efforts to balance its story and remain true to the cardinal journalistic tenet of objectivity. We will now provide a point by point rebuttal of the fabrication published article by this vanguard newspaper.
1. “Throwing out Journalist” – the NPA did not throw out any journalist. What the entity did was to accommodate as many Journalists as its executive conference room could take. A total of 10 media entities were invited to the press briefing focused on the dredging of the Freeport of Monrovia and the Port of Greenville. Following the briefing, the Management fielded questions from the media on a wide range of issues. So it was rather unfortunate that the Inquirer would report that its reporters were thrown out along with others, when the entity has been invited on many occasions to press events at the Freeport of Monrovia. The NPA simply could not accommodate the additional media entities and as such, it did not grant them access. They never entered so they could not have been thrown out.
2. The Inquirer wrote, “At the same time, there are more revelations on the alleged bad administrative practices of the Matilda Parker led administration the most recent one being a US$21M deal signed by the NPA management and a Dutch Company, Van Oord to dredge two of Liberia’s leading seaports – the Freeport of Monrovia and Greenville, Sinoe County.”
3. It is unclear how a bad administrative practice would amount to the signing of a $21M dredging contract. At the very minimum, the Inquirer could have contacted the PPCC to ascertain whether it was aware and approved of the process leading to the award of the contract. Had the paper done that, it would have found out that the PPCC had hearings on this matter with the MD and all associated NPA employees; requested a procurement plan; and then issued a letter of no objection for five known dredging companies to be allowed to tender bids.
4. The NPA management could have also provided this information to the paper had it shown any interest. More than that, the Inquirer could have also found out that all relevant government agencies were involved in the contract negotiation and that all statutory members signed the approved contract. This didn’t require any serious journalistic investigation, only a simple sincere inquiry. So exactly what PPCC requirement was not met, why would an open process amount to a close door deal, and why would the inquirer believe that it is more concerned about accounting for the public funds than the Management of the NPA, PPCC, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Commerce and the Office of the President?
With this clarification, it is the NPA management hope that the Inquirer will accept that it was in ethical breach of the journalistic ethic with when it published a one-sided, unsubstantiated story; that the entity eschew malice and motive, performance due diligence, remain objective and balance in its reportage about critical events that have the propensity to set back the gains that have come at the sweat of others.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 22 February 2012 19:28)