News / Africa

The Liberian Press Union Marks Its Founding 46 Years Ago

President Peter Quaqua says the press union has been at the forefront of the fight for freedom of expression and democracy in Liberia

Multimedia

Audio
  • Libebria Press Union President Quaqua spoke with Butty

James Butty

The Press Union of Liberia is marking the 46th year of its founding this weekend. Union President Peter Quaqua told VOA part of the activities includes a speech by an American educator.

“We have a guest from the (United) States, currently in Monrovia, a professor of communications and journalism, Professor Mitchell Land, who happens to be the Dean of the Mayborn School of Journalism at North Texas University. He’s in Liberia with us conducting lectures on journalism toward the election period. He will deliver a speech on the theme of the celebration ‘Media Integrity for Peaceful Election,’” he said.

Quaqua said the speech will be followed by a panel discussion involving politicians and civil society leaders on the topic The Road to 2011: Prospects for Enhancing the Democratic Space in Liberia.

He said the Press Union of Liberia has made tremendous progress over the years.

“The Union has come of age. Our colleagues, who started this project, went through pain and pleasure to bring it to where it is. You’re probably aware that we had a situation here where some journalists were sent to jail following which the rest of their colleagues decided that they would put together the Press Union to defend and protect the rights of journalists. Today, we have a space that a lot of people can speak of as being relatively safe. And, I think that is a credit to the Press Union,” he said.

Quaqua said the Liberian media has been gradually developing from one level to the other.

For instance, he said, while there was just one printing press at the founding of the Press Union, today Liberia has many printing houses that are printing the country’s growing daily newspaper industry.

“There are a lot of things that the Union has been involved with, key among those is the protection of the rights of people to express their opinions. We think that the Union should be credited for the extent of freedom of expression and democracy that Liberians enjoy today,” Quaqua said.

Quaqua cautioned his fellow journalists against complacency because he said politicians and others with money have vested interests to protect.

He said one of the challenges facing the Liberian Press Union is making sure that journalists remain ethical, as well as improving their economic situation.

“We are aware of those challenges and efforts are being made at different levels with different media houses to dignify the labor of journalists in this country,” he said.

Quaqua said the Press Union has been engaging the media owners to improve the income of their journalists.

“The media owners are responsible. Those are the employers of the journalists. We’ve been engaging them. We’ve been talking about the dismal salaries that journalists are receiving, and I’m sure that a couple of them are beginning to take action to ensure that those situations are corrected because they are affecting the performance of the media in a very serious way,” Quaqua said.

You May Like

FIFA Indictments Put Gold Cup Tournament Under Cloud

Experts say US indictments could lead to charges of other world soccer officials, and lead to major shakeup in sport's governance More

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

At a recent even in Seoul, border communities promoted benefits of increased cooperation and North Korean defectors shared stories of life since the war More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs