Sheriff wants legislative reporters to use their journalistic skills to set agendas that will lead to finding common ground and helping the legislature maintain its position as a reputable institution, instead of writing news stories based on personal opinions which most often denigrate the body.
Delivering a special statement at the start of a two-day retreat organized by the Legislative Press Pool (LEGISPOL) in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County over the weekend, Senator Sheriff observed that the press who should be setting the agenda for development and progress is fast losing its focus.
Sheriff stressed that the media has a great task to perform and said that task must be done in the embodiment of responsibility, self respect, rule of law and the spirit on oneness guided by the principle of fundamental rights of all and the desire to foster development as well as to demonstrate good and educative examples.
The Montserrado Senator said in a representative democracy the role of journalists is key as they are to inform citizens as well as make known the actions of the government, noting that without such role by journalists the government will refrain from being accountable to the people.
"This should not misguide you into unprofessional performance; engaging in acts such as maligning others, blackmailing and other acts that will relegate you to the level of public ridicule," Sheriff said.
Sheriff noted that as journalists, reporters must manage information well for the integrity of the state, so as to encourage investors, adding, "As much as you are charged to report on issues, first consider the consequences of stories you publish."
Sheriff emphasized that if the press must serve as a medium for the growth and development of society, journalists must conduct themselves by conforming to the ethics of the profession, noting that any act contrary to ethical journalism the hope of a better future will only be an imagination.