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Govt says it is firmed on chastising unethical media houses

Patrick Flomo/Benjamin S. Taingay
Information Minister, Lewis Brown
Information Minister, Lewis Brown

( 6, 2015)-The Government says it will remain firm on instituting actions against media entities involved in unethical reportage that undermines peace in Liberia.

Information Minister, Lewis Brown, also warned that the Government will not continue taking kindly or treating as “business as usual,” inappropriate media reports that border on falsehood.

Minister Brown said: “Such reports could prevent the country from receiving needed assistance that will further improve the lives of ordinary Liberians.”

Speaking at the Information Ministry’s regular press conference Tuesday, August 5, 2015, he noted that the Government will explore all administrative avenues to ensure that media houses be held liable for erroneous reports.

The Information Minister’s statement comes amid reports by some local media entities that the US Government is in possession of a list containing names of African officials, including Liberians, considered to be corrupt.

Minister Brown quoted the media reports as emphasizing that the US Government is intending to address the situation.

At the same time, the Liberian Government has described as incorrect and sensational the unbalanced news story that justices of the Supreme Court Bench refused Nissan jeeps, because they are of “low class.”

The story appeared on the front page of the Wednesday, August 5 edition of the New Democrat Newspaper.

The Information Ministry, in a release, expressed disappointment in the publication, because it was not verified with authorities of the Supreme Court.

Such poor journalistic practice runs contrary to Article 19 of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) Code of Ethics and Conduct, a MICAT release said.

Article 19 of the PUL Code of Ethics and Conduct states: “Journalists should make adequate enquiries and cross-check facts before publication, or broadcast.”

The release also said Justices of the Supreme Court continue to balance their humility with the dignity befitting the portfolio they hold.

MICAT then clarified that Associate Justices of the Supreme Court prefer more durable and long-lasting vehicles, contrary to the New Democrat news report.

There is a new judicial policy in line at the Supreme Court requiring justices to directly supervise courts within their assigned regions by visiting them, the ministry noted.

It further explained that the Supreme Court Justices were using vehicles issued them nine years ago and that the vehicles have outlived their usefulness.

“We recognize the freedom of all, including the media, to express themselves and offer criticism against any branch of the Government,” MICAT said in its release.

It, however, added: “We will resist and reject news reports that have the tendency of demonizing any branch of the Government to unfair public anger.”

To unfair public anger, because the cost of the vehicles are by far less than the amount reported by the New Democrat Newspaper.


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