EU Ambassador Accuses Liberian Media Of “falsehood” Personal Attacks and Paid for Journalism against Foreign Minister Kemayah
MONROVIA – The European Union Delegation to Liberia has directly accused the Liberian media of “falsehood” and bribery to defame Minister of Foreign Affair, Dee Maxwell Saah Kemayah.
The Head of the European Union Delegation to Liberia, Laurent Helahousse, 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.
Speaking at Freedom of Information Roundtable at the Corina Hotel on Monrovia Monday, the highest ranking official of the of the EU in Liberia could be heard saying “I see of personal attacks against my good friend the minister of foreign Affairs which are contrary for instance”.
Said Amb Delahousse: “I see articles in the media that are obviously being bought”.
Mr Delahousse described media reports on Foreign Minister Kemayah as “make money to publish and they don’t represent any form of truth”.
The EU Head of delegation, however, 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.
Since his appointment as Liberia’s Foreign Minister, there have been series of negative media reports on Amb. Kemayah which started with a sexual abuse by a female staff of the Liberian Mission to the United Nations in New York.
The staff, Ms. Wyndell Cummings, however, did not provide evidence to substantiate her allegation.
Amb. Kemayah described the allegation as untrue and politically motivated