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

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes 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.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More