Media Has A Role, Stop The Threats
I am worrying about the security of my fellow professional media colleagues who are daily threatened while performing their duties to the State and people of Liberia without fear and favoritism.
Of late, unknown men, security practitioners, and government officials in Liberia are threatening media practitioners as they carryout out their duties, something which is troubling and worrisome for a country that professes “FREE PRESS”.
As you know, the Media is the blade of democracy, and acts as watchdogs to protect public interest against malpractices and create public awareness.
Today in Liberia politicians are taking lead of their positions and crime syndicate in making the life of the common man (media practitioners) miserable for talking the true and exposing their evil deeds.
As the fourth pillar of democracy, media of today has an all-embracing role to act against the inequality, tyranny, crimes and partiality of our society. But now when they exposed these ugly happenings in Liberia, and their lives are threatened, sources of income, family members are threatened also.
Media has remained an integral part of human civilization and if Liberia must remain as a civilized society, the media can in no way be silence.
As we have resumed the full responsibility of our security in Liberia, it is troubling who will protect journalists as they are vulnerable and target by state security officers.
Recent attacked on two reporters from Prime FM, and the Vice President of the Press Union of Liberia is clear we are target.
Indeed, the media stand at a critical juncture during the upcoming elections in Liberia and with all these developing threats, physical and psychological harassment against media practitioners by selfish greed politicians to carry their way out is a bad sign.
The role of the media is to provide information, education, entertainment, correlation of parts of society, provoke public debates leading to greater public participation in important decisions.
Over the years, Liberian media practitioners have also uncovered abuses, alert and mobilize public opinion to humanitarian causes/injustices, allow political pluralism to express itself by advertising different views/ ideological approaches to certain issues.
No doubt, media has played significant role in making the world a global village and to reduce the communication gaps amongst the people living in far areas.
In Liberia the media played a crucial role in the just ended fight against the deadly Ebola virus , provided critical information and awareness , they are also exposing corruption, bad governance, sexual and gender based violence issues, amongst others issues.
In the developing world, the media help in clearly scrutinizing happenings in society or duties bearers but in Liberia once media practitioners are performing their duties they become a target.
As you know, society is influenced by media in so many ways as confirmation by some of your critical articles and editorials.
It is the media for the masses that help people get information about a lot of things and also to form opinions and make judgments regarding various issues.
Let the media play their roles and stop the threats.
Nathan Charles, Contributing Writer