Against this backdrop, Mr. Koijee strongly underscored the need for mutual respect and collaboration with GoL and the press to promote national development and unity in the country.
The Monrovia City Mayor, who addressed hundreds of journalists in Fish Town, River Gee County on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at the Press Union of Liberia(PUL)) organized event to commemorate this year’s World Press Freedom Day, then encouraged relevant Government agencies to desist from what he calls ‘lip service’, and take concrete steps to resolve cases of brutality by state security forces.
According to him, doing so will ensure a viable, free and transparent media, as part of the tenets of democracy.
The Press Freedom Day’s Orator, who also paid special tributes to fallen Liberians journalists for their immense contributions to the sustenance of Liberia’s democracy and those journalists who are contributing immensely to said democracy, dispelled fear in the media that the global effects of digital siege are seriously affecting Liberia, preventing citizens from having access to available online information.
This year’s World Press Freedom Day centered on journalism under digital siege. Globally, digital landscape has increased largely since the outbreak of COVID-19.
“It is Government’s responsibility to ensure access to online services, and that it is globally inescapable; Government will work to ensure such right is protected,” he told the gathering.
Among other things, Mayor Koijee averred that the move has helped greatly in flourishing media freedom in the digital environment.
For us, we embrace this year’s Press Freedom Day’s Orator message regarding the need for mutual respect and collaboration with Government and the press, to promote national development and unity in the country as prudent and in the right direction.
Frankly, the need for said coexistence in the interest of the development of the Liberian nation and people cannot be overemphasized.
We encourage both parties (media and GoL) to consider the message of the Press Freedom’s Orator in good faith as it is judicial and seeks to enhance the development of the country and its people.
We see nothing wrong with the media and Government collaboration as suggested by Mayor Koijee once it is aimed at promoting national development and unity in the country.
It must be underscored that one of the primary objectives of both the media and Government is to seek the interest of the Liberian nation and its people, but when there is a deviation to this important social contract, the media, as the watchdog, comes in and raise the necessary red flag for the Government to do the right thing. This does not mean that the media and Government are adversary- they both need to coexist for the enhancement of the country and its people.
To this end, we again embrace this year’s Press Freedom Day’s Orator Message for the media and GoL to coexist freely in the spirit of patrimony and democracy.