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|Poor Mgt Hinders Liberian Media Institutions -As Journalists Undergo Mgt. Training|
|Published on August 28, 2008||Email To Friend Print Version
Poor management has been cited among major factors affecting the growth and success of Liberian media institutions.
Prominent Liberian journalist and Managing Director of the independent Daily Observer Newspaper, Kenneth Yarkpawolo Best, yesterday attributed the failures and falls of many Liberian newspapers to inapt planning and unnecessary use of funds by their managers.
Mr. Best made the claim when he served as one of several facilitators at a three-day (August 27-29) media workshop on “Newspaper Management and Reportage” organized by the Mass Communication Department of the University of Liberia in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
At least 30 print journalists are attending the exercise being held in the auditorium of the University of Liberia main campus.
Presenting on the topic “Modern Newspaper Management”, Mr. Best gave a brief historical background of some newspapers including his, and what has led to its success – good management.
The Liberian journalist said media managers must first organize themselves, be wise and farsighted in establishing and running effective newspapers that attract the public interest.
He said instead of building effective media institutions some managers of newspapers were running their institutions in their vehicles. Others who realize cash from their media entities choose to spend on unnecessary activities such as purchasing new vehicles, finding multiple concubines and engaging in gambling among others. These activities, the veteran journalist said, were injurious to the survival of any newspaper.
He then called on the media to help promote and educate the public on the country’s development agenda because they, media practitioners, were part of the country and what ever affects the country affects all.
Mr. Beast also wants the media to question and take the government to task if it goes out of track as a mean of putting government officials on the right path in the interest of the public.
The three-day intensive workshop is intended to help improve the skills of several newspaper reporters and editors based in Monrovia, Professor Joe Worlorbah Mulbah, Chairman of the UL Mass Communications Department, said earlier in his welcome remarks.
He said from the date the first newspaper was established in Liberia to present, there has always been problem with management.
Though disappointed that most of those invited did not show up for the exercise, Prof. Mulbal, also a veteran Liberian journalist, indicated that continuing empowerment of journalists was very cardinal in the journalism profession.
He said journalists must first be educated and informed in order to inform and educate the public on issues of national concern, making reference the government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) - a three year program (2008-2011) designed by the government with the total involvement of the people to make conditions in the country suitable that will enable Liberians live better lives. The PRS has four major pillars including enhancing national security, revitalizing the economy, strengthening Governance and rule of law and basic infrastructure and basic social services. Education falls under the last pillar.
He said if Liberian journalists must educate the public on the PRS implementation they must first be free from poverty, which could result from proper managements of media institutions.
UNDP Communication Analyst Anthony Selmah also agreed that weak administration of newspaper is a serious impediment affecting the performance of print journalists. Many newspapers over the years, he pointed out, have failed to develop into sustainable business entities because of poor running and organization.
According to him, if many of the Liberian papers were properly managed, many journalists would not face the numerous problems they are facing today in their daily works.
Meanwhile Mr. Best, Professor Mulbah, Associate Professor Lamini Waritay, Civil Service Director General Dr. C. William Allen and Knight International Fellow Ms. Marquita S. Smith are facilitation the workshop which enters its second day today.
Participants will be awarded certificates at the end of the training workshop Friday. – D Kaihenneh Sengbeh writes