Amid 2022 PUL Annual Awards, Journalist Wants ‘Serious’ Reform To Meet Int’l Best Practice

Mr. Chester Smith, Publisher, IPNEWS

The Publisher of the Independent Probe Newspaper (IPNEWS), Chester Smith has congratulated the Press Union of Liberia, 2022, Excellence Awards committee, and called for a more drastic reform for next PUL awards event to reflect credibility and visibility.

Journalist Smith stated that the Press Union of Liberia, as the oldest surviving civil society organization, must remain focus on upholding the tenets of democracy, integrity and fair- play.

The IPNEWS publisher frown at Saturday’s poorly executed awards night at the Ministerial Complex in Old Congo Town and warned against the PUL taking a dangerous path of history.

Mr. Smith in a rather unusual public condemnation against the repeated conduct PUL awards granting, stated that  it was now time the Union changes it course of action, especially in the granting of awards which has an adverse effects on the credibility and integrity of the Press Union of Liberia.

In communication to PUL President Charles Coffey, a copy in the possession of IPNEWS captioned: ” My Descend on Current PUL Excellence Awards”, the veteran Liberian journalist called on Mr. Charles Coffey, to do more in preserving the credibility of the PUL by doing more to elevate the annual PUL excellence awards in accordance with best international practice.

“It is preposterous to continue the path of a small committee making determination into granting Journalist excellence awards without the participation of the general public to which Journalist owe their commitment. Therefore the continuous posture by the PUL Awards committee to leave the public out of selection is ridiculous and unacceptable.”


“It is time the leadership of the PUL institute sustainable reforms which brings credibility to the work of the Liberia, as the genuine voice of the voiceless in society. Mr. Smith averred.

Publisher Chester Smith, implore PUL President Coffey, to begin allowing a profound public inclusion, for a more independent analysis on the works and performance of Journalist in Liberia for making determination in category selection that would reflect a more genuine public perception of the workings of the Liberian Media.

Smith stated that the world over continues to utilized new inventions using muti-media platforms for public participation and the Liberian media cannot be exception.

Smith: “My point is from the background and concept of Journalism especially the fundamentals of reporting or writing of ensuring Accurate, Balance and Clarity (ABC),  which are the baseline for public acceptance and determination of the quality of work journalist does in shaping public persuasion and setting an agenda that elevates democracy, sustain genuine peace and tranquility, including rapid development.”

” Yes! We cannot continue on the path of application for awards, which many at times are laid at the mercy of a small select few ( Awards committee) without a broader participation of the public and the Journalism community for determining who are the Best Journalist or who are properly suited for awards given the role the media played in being the minor of Democracy.”

In the aftermath of the PUL, there have been barrage of criticism over the conduct of the awards, including the poor execution.

Many Journalist continued to expressed outer dismayed at the criterium for selection, including a standardized procedure for awards that reflect credibility and fair-play.

In 2019, similar criticism emerged a day following the PUL awards night held at the Paynesville City hall, in Montserrado County on Friday, 9 August 2019.

There was disenchantment from several Journalist and Media houses over the repeated granting of awards which have the propensity to undermine the growth of the Liberian media.

The 2019 Awards Committee was headed by Journalist Horatio Bobby Willie, of the defunct Star Radio and former Vice President of the Sports Writer Association of Liberia, and Co-Chair by Madam Elizabeth Hoff former President of the Press Union of Liberia, George Kennedy formerly of the Daily Observer Newspaper, veteran female journalists Tete Karneh, formerly of the Liberia Broadcasting System and now Communications Director of Global Bank Liberia Limited, Weah Karpeh formerly of United Nations Mission In Liberia (UNMIL) , Patrick Flomo  formerly of the Liberia Broadcasting System as well as Journalist Jarlawah A. Tonpo, Former Correspondent of the British base dissolved West Africa Magazine, who serve as ex- official on the Committee.

Anthony Stephens of Power FM/TV as both Development and Investigative reporter of the year, Moses Garzeawu as Business Reporter of the year, Julius Konton as Executive Mansion reporter of the year and ELBC’s Grand Bassa County Correspondent Simpson Davis as the Humanitarian reporter of the among other.

The 2019 Awards Night was held at the Paynesville City Town Hall, Montserrado County on Friday, 9 August 2019. Journalists and invitees were dressed in their best that rain bowed the occasion.

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