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|US Envoy Presses For Diligent Election Coverage|
|Published on September 29, 2010||Email To Friend Print Version
By Marcus Zoleh
The Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy, Karl Albert, has called on Liberian journalists to do a diligent reporting on the forthcoming general and presidential elections.
Mr. Albert said the people of Liberia greatly depend on the media for relevant information about the 2011 elections and therefore, the Liberian media need to take the challenge citing the issues of experiences, lack of resources as some of the difficulties.
“The Liberian people will rely on you to offer objective information on issues, ask politicians hard questions on their behalf, and to clarify fast flowing information. This is not an easy task when you have limitations such as transportation, connectivity, and modest resources at your disposal.
We know that political campaigns are generally contentious and the news media are at the center of informing ordinary people about the issues and candidates' platforms. Often you have the obligation to perform this duty despite limited experiences, lack of resources, and possible risk to yourselves during heightened tensions. Your endurance and performance will be tested,” Mr. Albert noted.
Mr. Albert furthered that the building of journalist's capacity will improve their ability to effectively and efficiently report on the coming elections that will set a brighter future for the news media in Liberia.
He also added that the consolidation of all gains by the media will contribute to the long term development and prosperity of Liberia.
According to the US Deputy Chief of Mission to Liberia, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is implementing a Civil Society and Media programs in Montserrado, Bong, Nimba, Lofa, Grand Bassa, River Gee and Grand Gedeh counties and it is intended to empower civil society organizations to play a pivotal role in democracy and good governance for the provision of essential services coupled with the promotion of public interest and advocacy and serves as an independent “watchdog” on the government and private sector.
Mr. Albert spoke at the start of a three-day lecture series on Election Coverage and Advance Journalism skill for Liberian journalists currently ongoing in the conference room of the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) in Monrovia.
The program is organized by the Press Union of Liberia with support from the US Embassy near Monrovia.
For his part, the President of the Press Union of Liberia, Peter Quiquoi, said that his organization decided to include the training section into its anniversary celebration because of what he called the critical nature of the forthcoming elections in Liberia.
He urged participants at the workshop to exercise total commitment in order to improve their reportage.