The national orator of Liberia’s 170th Independence celebration Herman Beseah Brown says the media landscape of Liberia is full of tabloid journalism. Speaking during the ceremony, Dr. Brown maintained that despite the media performing its informative role in the society; propaganda and ill-informed assumptions seem to preoccupy the content of most of Liberians media outlets.
“One cannot travel the length and breadth of this country claiming that nothing has changed in terms of development. Most of our talk shows on the media just say ‘The government has worked or has not worked’ and open telephone lines for people’s views rather than showcasing developmental projects,” Brown said. Stressing on the theme of this year’s celebration: ‘Sustaining the Peace’, Dr. Brown said the role of the media is crucial in showcasing the benchmarks, as this government has not only guaranteed freedom of expression which is enshrined in our constitution, but has ensured that people freely express their minds on all platforms without fear of being reprimanded. Dr. Brown said that the media has been able to place itself in a better situation where people rely on it for information, education and entertainment, but if the media fail to give out credible information, uninformed society like ours will likely repeat past mistakes. Dr. Brown said that the media should not only keep asking political parties what they will do should they win, rather, the aspiring political parties should be asked what they will do if they did not win. “We should not be focusing on the only 5% that will likely win the election, but the actions of the 95% that will lose”, he said. On the Code of Conduct, Dr. Brown said that Section 5 of the Code has attracted great attentions because it deals with politics which is the order of the day. Dr. Brown emphasized that the Code of Conduct exists to protect citizens and prevent elected officials from misusing government coffers during elections, and therefore, it is necessary for such laws to be enforced. “The nation’s confidence on the Judiciary is crucial towards maintaining the peace we are yearning for, as without peace, there will be no development. In the past we fought against each other, but now we are working with each other”, he said. Dr. Brown recalled that the peace in the country came through the tears and blood of everyone including neighboring countries that sacrificed their efforts to ensure everlasting peace. Dr. Brown reiterated that in maintaining the peace, politicians should think beyond terms and tenure of office but think for the betterment of all as Liberians. He cautioned Liberians to think beyond bread and butter issues and aim high. He further called on religious leaders not to be spectators of unfairness and ills in the society but stand for what they believe is right. Dr. Brown echoed to every Liberians to go back to family values of respect for justice, honesty, sincerity for country and respect for rule of law with no exceptions. “Few months from now, we will have elections which will see the turning of the table to another government. Much has been done but more is needed to be done in the fight against corruption, maternal health for women and children, infrastructure and reconciliation,” he maintained.