The Vice President of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has described recent decision by his colleagues in the leadership of the PUL to turn over two legislative reporters to members of the Liberian Senate for investigation into reports of maltreatment as ill-fated.
Mr. Octavin T. Williams, in his descending opinion, said at a news conference today, February 13, 2018, that the decision manifests an utter lack of professionalism and a clear violation of the PUL constitution as far as Article 2-Section 1 and 2 is concerned.
He said the decision also undermines the importance and function of the National Media Council, which was established to mediate between state actors and the media, aimed at resolving crisis even following a highly expensive international reform process with support from USAID and INTER-NEWS.
Mr. Williams said he’s appalled that some members of the leadership of the PUL led by President Charles Coffey would subject two Liberian journalists to a Senate probe when in fact the Senate itself is a party to an assault case linking Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence to allegedly ordering the flogging of the journalists.
In a statement, the PUL Vice President said the birth of the National Media Council opens a new opportunity for self-watch of ethical journalism. For this, he criticized his colleagues for subjecting members of the Liberian media to a Senate probe in the presence of the National Media Council.
The PUL Vice President then called on journalists Abraham Morris of the InProfile Daily newspaper and Austin Kawah of Prime FM, who are both named for the probe, not to again appear before such Senate probe as doing so will contradict the reputation of the Media Council.
The PUL Vice President Press Statement concluded