As Liberian engulf with numerous challenges including the abuse of power backed with uncontrollable corruption in the CDC-led government, the media has come under serious criticisms by the European Union Delegation to Liberia who has publicly and directly described the Liberian media as ‘Crazy people and blackmailers’ who have taken the role of defaming his best friend, the Minister of Foreign Affair, Dee Maxwell Saah Kemayah.
The EU envoy, Laurent Delahousse, speaking at the Freedom of Information Roundtable conference held at the Corina Hotel in Monrovia, said that the media in Liberia has been engaged in a series of money induced story writing which do not represent “my friend” (Kemayah), the Minister of Foreign Affairs, noting, “I see of personal attacks against my good friend the minister of foreign Affairs which are contrary for instance”.
He further described media reports on Foreign Minister Kemayah as “make money to publish and they don’t represent any form of truth”, but failed to provide any evidence or state specific instances and or occasions on which Liberian journalists published “paid for stories” or spread “falsehoods” against Minister Kemayah, as he alleged.
Before blowing his storm of ethical criticisms against the Liberian media, the ambassador earlier joked that a few weeks ago, he described young people aspiring to be journalists as “crazy”. “I met with young students in journalism a few weeks ago and I told them they were crazy,” he said.
Mr. Delahousse said he had told them that they were crazy “because they want to be journalists for today so to be you must be crazy”.
The Press Union of Liberia has asked the EU head of delegation to Liberia to be more evidential on the subject of journalists’ conduct.
PUL Vice President Daniel Nyankona said the statement from Mr. Delahousse fell short of naming journalists and media entities involved into such gross violation of ethical conduct.
“I would tell our friend Laurent Delahousse to help the PUL with its self-regulation regime by coming forth with names of those engaged in such ethical breaches,” Nyankona said.
Vice President Nyankona said the EU Ambassador must come clear as he said something from a perspective that could ink the entire journalism profession. “We cannot say he lied until he can provide the facts,” Nyankona said.