The Press Union of Liberia has released the calendar of events ahead of the official observance of the Union’s 49th anniversary this weekend in Kakata, Margibi County. PUL says this year’s celebration is being held in collaboration with the Constitution Review Committee (CRC) and will take place on the theme, “The Media And The Liberian Constitution.”
Journalists will converge on Kakata from Monrovia and other parts of the country beginning Friday, October 4th for the main celebration starting on Saturday morning, October 5th with the parade through the main streets of Kakata.
According to a release, a panel of selected media practitioners will make presentations on the constitution to be followed by discussions.
PUL says it is delighted at the opportunity to celebrate with the CRC at this time of its existence when there is so much at stake in sustaining the fragile peace and democracy in Liberia and therefore calls on journalists to take ownership of the review process.
Union President Peter Quaqua says: “at a point in time when the foundation our democracy is threatened by vested interests, a sweeping review of the Liberian constitution is a perfect opportunity to redefine our country’s democratic ethics and character in order to preserve the peace.”
In spite of the growing pattern to scare the media into cowardice, the release quotes Mr. Quaqua as challenging the media to remain steadfast in serving public interest regardless of the price.
The Union declares September 30 to October 5 as ‘constitutional week’ for the media and entreats all journalists to stop for a moment and devote some time to reading the Liberian constitution ahead of the Kakata discussions. “You must study the constitution because it is only an enlightened journalist who can save his or her country from the hands self-seeking politicians,” the PUL President added.
The Union encourages Journalists to pick up a copy of the constitution at the headquarters as of Monday in order to intelligently contribute to the debate.
The Press Union of Liberia was established by a hand full of journalists on September 30, 1964, who sought protection from the governing authorities. The founding followed the imprisonment journalist Stanton Peabody.
It is not known how long Peabody in jail, but 49 years later, a journalist is in jail as the Union marks the day. Rodney Sieh has been in prison since August 21, 2013, despite the chorus of local and international condemnations. The Union restates calls for his release from further detention, as “HE DOES NOT DESERVE TO BE JAIL.”
Meanwhile as part of the celebration there will be a football game between electronic and print journalists at the Kakata sport ground.
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