A Rejoinder to John Morlu’s Article: “Yellow Journalism A Threat to Democracy in Liberia”

By: Augustus B. Fallah


The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
September 7, 2006


A French professor at the University of Liberia once said to his class, “You have to be widely read, well informed and keep abreast with issues coupled with your acquisition of your first degree; and you can even make a fool of some so-called master degree holders.”

What I understood from the professor is that: while acquiring your first degree, you must be well read, highly informed and knowledgeable on certain issues. Failure to blend these with the acquisition of your Bachelor’s of Science or Bachelor’s of Arts renders you empty even if you go to acquire a Master’s.

This is now reverberating in my mind as I read John Morlu’s Article in the New Democrat Newspaper under the caption: “Yellow Journalism As A Threat to Democracy,” Vol. 13 N0. 138 August 30, 2006 and posted on the Perspective Website.

Morlu among other things accused some Liberian media practitioners of siding with political parties and chose to malign the character of Augustus Fallah whom he accused as an integral part of Charles Taylor war efforts in Lofa County Liberia. Allow me to respond to some of the calculated lies and misinformation John Morlu has written in his trash calling it an article.

First of all, Morlu refers to his writings as an opinion which I have no problem with. I am glad that Morlu was quick to point out to the world that his writings are estimations or judgment passed as a result of him being ill informed.

One thing Morlu is quite ignorant of is that an opinion does not necessarily mean the truth. It can evolve out of like or dislike or even quest or the desire to obtain something like a job from power thou be thereby forming an opinion that is half baked, while the truth is a fact; a reality, or the state of being true.

Sadly, Morlu’s opinion is far from reality as his article is filled with errors. Most often, this ranting commentator out of avaricious desire for position in government placards his so-called degrees in front of his name when he writes his opinions which are nothing but calculated lies and misinformation. For instance, his level of parochial view on issues and characters is in the case of referring to Augustus Fallah as (Augustine), a character Morlu believes in his opinion was an integral part of Charles Taylor war efforts in Lofa County. Sad indeed!

For the record sake: The man Augustus Fallah was never as Morlu puts it an “integral part of Charles Taylor war efforts in Lofa County.” This, I consider to be a trash and needs given any credence because I have not lived in Lofa for a single day or two before, during and after the war, neither have I been a part of Taylor war efforts in any part of Liberia. Let me inform you John that I am a different person. This is why I sacrificed my time and resources to enter the University of Liberia where I read Mass Communication so that I can contribute positively to my country and a larger society as well. I would have been in the Diaspora like John but my level of commitment to Liberia and Liberians at this point in time of our nation’s history counts a lot than thinking about war. You need to do your home work well, John. I am a student of positive thinking and one in the vanguard for the vibrancy of a new media not only in Liberia, but across Africa aimed at erasing bad governance which continues to engulf the entire continent with perhaps individuals like you who cannot comprehend the reality. I know the term “New Media” is something foreign to you, and I don’t have the time to tutor you because you are just an “opinionist” and not a journalist. This is so because you might not care to understand another professional terminology in a profession that you are not schooled in.

I can understand the psychological effect Morlu is going through, it is an open secret that during the elections he took his money to sponsor advertisements against some political figures with the hope of obtaining a lucrative job in Liberia. Unfortunately, he did not get the job, and he is now writing out of mere frustration and desperation, thinking that passing his opinion, filled with lies and misinformation, would land him into another paradise (job). This is the level of mediocracy we have among some Liberians both at home and abroad.

How can a man who claims to have so many degrees be so ill-informed on issues he claims to have authority on? The only response I have to give you Morlu is that your opinions are not well grounded; they are made so that you can impress the Liberian government for possible job consideration.

If you were qualified by virtue of your advertisement of degrees, you would have been brought in by now to be working for government. Since this has not happened, you have become a self-styled political, social, scientific, medical, technical, sports commentator and opinionist at last. What I sense about you is that you have no knowledge about people and the subject matters you claim to know about. You always give paradoxical ideas on certain things that need better explanations.

Morlu, your article now gives me a better understanding as to why the President indicted the Liberian media at a commencement program recently. Such opinionated person as John Morlu articles being given credence by top government officials has the propensity to make them become dictators.

Your suggestion to the President to do something to arrest the situation in the face of Liberia’s democracy is tantamount to inciting the President against the Liberian media. But I can understand from where you speak. However, people are watching you in your desperate quest for a post in Liberia.

You are one of those in the habit of ill-advising leaders back home, and when the damage is done you remain abroad and behave as though you don’t know anything happening back home.

There is an old Liberian adage which says, “Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.” People are aware of your links back home; your association with people whom you think are seasoned journalists but are rather opinionist like yourself will always mislead you. I urge you and your colleagues to come with facts and stop using “dirty tactics” to blackmail and character assassinate well-meaning Liberian journalists.

As a new recruit on Government Public Relations team, your first task is to gain knowledge about happenings here in Liberia by reading a lot of materials and spending your time getting relevant information with accuracy and facts. Instead, you have jumped the gun by lunching character assassination on people.

In your opinion, you even linked one journalist of another paper when in fact he is not from that media institution. This is indeed is an “intellectual blunder” from a man who claims so much knowledge from the way he advertises his degrees in front of his name. This one time Front Page writer has now broken ranks with his colleagues simply because of his inability to understand professional journalism from opinion. To be continued.

© 2006 by The Perspective
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