A Liberian journalist who is also an affiliate at the African Center for strategic studies in Washington DC has disclosed that the recent imposition of curfew to include the Liberian media was a threat to media safety and security.
The government of Liberia recently imposed a curfew in the country in an effort to control the mass movement of people a strategy that was designed to contain the spread of the Ebola Virus.
Speaking from the United States during a telephone interview, Mr. James Momoh said while he commends government effort in the fight against the spread of Ebola, the inclusion of the media in the imposition of curfew was a threat to media safety and security and an impediment for journalists to effectively play their role as watch dogs for society.
The adjunct faculty on media relations in Africa at the Washington based institution in the United States, further said with the current Ebola epidemic in the country, the Liberian media must be view as partners in the fight against the virus by giving journalists or media institutions free access to information and security protection in information gathering and dissemination on government efforts to combat the spread of the virus.
The former Liberian journalist said in the time of crises, the media is always the conduit for information gathering and dissemination adding that the imposition of curfew to include the media was against the legitimate interest of the people of Liberia especially in an environment where awareness on Ebola infection, prevention and containment is crucial to the fight against the virus.
He said with the prevalence of the virus that is claiming the lives of both Liberians and foreign nationals the media must consider itself a significant component in the fight against Ebola by forming partnership with government and health care professionals through objective coverage of the virus and creating the needed awareness on the presence of Ebola in the country, the route of infection, prevention and containment.
Momoh who is also the founder of a diabetes testing and awareness center in the country admonished the people of Liberia to acknowledge the presence of the virus and work with health care professionals in the fight against Ebola. He said while Ebola remains lethal it is preventable through the application of universal standard precaution.