Kenneth Best Sends SOS for Liberian Media


By: F. Shelton Gonkerwon

Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted December 21, 2004

The suffering and dragging Liberian media may be hopeful of possible redemption from the shackle of media deficiency including printing monopoly and related elements, if call by one of Liberia’s renowned media practitioners, Kenneth Y. Best to the international community sympathetic to the plight of media is given positive action.

The SOS call was contained in a keynote address he delivered Friday at the induction of the newly elected core of officers of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) at the YMCA Building in Monrovia.

Mr. Best amplified the degree of suffering being experienced by the Liberian media particularly the print that he said were paying exorbitant price for printing thereby finding it difficult to perform adequately.

He said at the point where the media were the sole point of reliance for factual happenings, especially as “we approach the election,” there was a need that they (media) be professionally equipped in terms of training, material and financial resources.

He prayed for goodwill gesture such as newsprint among many others to help ease the burdens faced by the print media.

The Daily Observer Managing Director used the occasion to call for media self-examination in accordance with professional creed if they must be called the true voice and light of the society.

Mr. Best said the role of the media must be kept sacred at all times, because as cornerstone of the society the media remain the implementing partners as “we all strive for excellence in social, political and economic life.”

He called on the current PUL leadership headed by Mrs. Elizabeth Hoff to encourage all media houses – print and electronic to create massive awareness everyday to expose some aspect of the sanitation problem until the government gets the message and start doing something serious about it. “For heaven sake, Christmas is upon us! How can we welcome Baby Jesus in surroundings so soaked in stench and squalor?” he wondered.

Meanwhile, Madam Mary Brownell, a member of the National Elections Commission, inducted Mrs. Hoff as the first female president of PUL in forty years. Others inducted were George K. Barpeen, Jr., Vice President; Alphonsus Zeon, Secretary-General; Peter Quoiquoi, Assistant Secretary-General; and Zeogar Jaynes, Financial Secretary.

In her induction address, Mrs. Hoff said members of the PUL should recognize the actions of unity of purpose and begin to work together peacefully in the vital interest of fraternity.

She maintained that the union will never progress in the environment of hostility, disunity, backbiting and sabotage except through constructive idea for development.

Mrs. Hoff noted that the PUL has come of age as depicted by circumstances to review its restructure for better adjustment.

According to the new PUL President, this present leadership will galvanize the expertise of all former presidents of the union, both locally and externally, with the purpose of borrowing on their experiences and links for the benefit of the media in Liberia.

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by the Forum newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.