The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has elected Charles Coffey as its new leader. In a ceremony marking the installation of the new PUL leadership, the President of Liberia, Madam Sirleaf congratulated the new corps of officers, while admonishing them that under her administration, the press has operated freely. She also thanked the union for conducting a free, fair, and credible election in Ganta, Nimber County.
On the other hand, Madam Sirleaf reminded the Liberian media, noting that, “as societal watchdog, your duty is to accurately inform the public.” She also cautioned the media against the devastating effects of false reporting, stating that, “politically motivated falsehood may have damaging consequences upon anyone, even when the record is subsequently corrected. So, we all should strive for the public of our nation,” the president said.
The Liberian Chief Executive spoke as a special guest at the PUL’s inaugural program of elected officers on Thursday, December 29, at the Monrovia City Hall. She urged Liberian journalists to be objective in their truth telling as Liberia enters into one of its critical moments, as the country goes to election in 2017.
President Sirleaf admonished the new PUL leaders to match words with deeds as they set for themselves goals to achieve as professional grouping in the country. She then re-echoed that under her administration, there’s press freedom and free speech in Liberia, and that her government will continue to work with the media to achieve greater partnership.
“It behooves the PUL leadership to double check their facts before publication or broadcast, because the media must self-define its relevance and collectively commit itself to social responsibilities with truthfulness, “he said. Also in attendance of the ceremony, were a number of foreign dignitaries, including the Cameroonian Ambassador, Beng’yela Augustine Gang, who reechoed the point, “that journalists are society’s transformational catalysts who should demonstrate professionalism in the fulfillment of their public roles.” He then urged the Coffey administration to help promote national unity.
For his part, Charles Coffey acknowledged the responsibilities of his office as PUL boss, and that he will fight to dignify the confidence that has been bestowed upon him by his colleagues.