LIBERIA: FEJAL Receives President Weah’s Gestures, Presents Ten Seated Bus, New Headquarter, But Critics Question Its Neutrality
As the four decades old Press Union of Liberia (PUL) lacks behind in acquiring its own headquarters, one of its auxiliaries, the Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FEJAL) last Saturday, April 20, 2019 received several donations including the unveiling of a modern headquarter already built from the Liberian leader, President George Manneh weah during a fundraising program.
The occasion was indeed colorful when the Liberian leader with huge onlookers presented One dollar as his donation and instructed FEJALs president Siatta Scott-Johnson and the head of the construction project Estelle Liberty Kemoh to opened several boxes.
The boxes included 2.5 lot deeds, the key to a ten seated bus, and a photograph of the already built headquarters.
“I’m giving you press freedom but you must be professional and we all can save the state from violence,” he said.
FEJAL president added that the dedication will not compromise the reportage of female journalists.
Johnson said headquarters was a dream come through for the association and called on female journalists to remain professional and ethical.
“I am out of words, our dreams have been achieved, we’ve been crafting how we could start but with this dedication all we can say is that we are grateful,” she said.
”I want to say to the Liberian people that the dedication and turning over will in no way compromise our code of ethics and our reportage will remain the same, we appreciate the efforts, some wonder why the media, but again we remain professional.”
She said It is essential that FEJAL be strengthened as an institution to create a space of female journalists.
Mrs. Johnson stressed that FEJAL will ensure that female voices are heard.
“We envisioned a media landscape. Promote social justice, and equal opportunity.”
For Mrs. Kemoh, head for the construction committee, although the construction was not a surprise to her, she is grateful.
She recalled that the discussion was held in 2016 when the land was given.
Then, he didn’t promise to build the headquarters till few months ago, when the construction was completed, she narrated.
Mrs. Kemoh urged FEJAL leadership to continue building the capacity of female reporters as women stories will be highlighted.
Both house speaker Bhofal Chambers and Senate Pro Tempore Albert Chie admonished the media to be ethical, promising to support FEJAL and press freedom.
Said Pro Temp Chie: “We support the press but they should practice ethical journalism because we wouldn’t sit here and make you spoil someone reputation, though we passed the press freedom act there are other route we can used.”
FeJAL, an auxiliary of the Press Union of Liberia, was Founded 1998 to protect the rights of female journalists, promote press freedom, and strive to bring women in the media.
This latest donation from the Liberian leader has been received with mixed reactions with several pondering over as to whether with this donation; FEJAL will maintain its neutrality in the performing of its journalistic duties during the reign of the Weah led government being the major supporter of their quest for those facilities just received.