By Antoinette Sendolo
Several journalists have expressed serious disappointment and also condemned the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) awards given to the Liberia Broadcasting System, former PUL’s president Peter QuaQua among others noting that the process was fraudulent, based on sentiment by the Awards Committee.
Speaking to this paper, one of the contestants, Journalist Edwin G. Wandah expressed grave dissatisfaction over the way in which the 2014 Press Union’s Award was given out, adding that the Awards Committee did not do its homework properly and as such they should openly apologize for presenting the wrong people and institutions as award winners of the Press Union of Liberia.
Journalist Wandah is demanding the Mark Butcher Committee to apologize and that the awards given out to ‘’undeserving individuals and institutions’’ be revoked on grounds that there was no form of transparency in the entire process.
He particularly presented one of the winners announced by the Mark Butcher Committee, Roland Perry of the Informer Newspaper who was awarded Developmental Reporter of the year and that this is something he differs with.
According to Edwin Wandah, the committee should have showcased the stories and reports of every reporter who sent in their entries in order for those who attended the ceremony to have had a clear picture of their works and make their own judgment while the judges give the final position so as to show some level of transparency.
He disclosed that shortly after the results were pronounced by Mark Butcher, he personally engaged Mark Butcher requesting him to give the results sheet on which the names were written but unfortunately the results were written on a disorganized sheet. “I asked Mark Butcher for the results sheet in order to get information but unfortunately, I saw Roland Panney instead of Perry with 69 points and Edwin G. Wandah 69 points but to my dismay, Mark Butcher announced 69.1 points for Roland Perry which put him at the winning end as Developmental Reporter of the year. So this is a clear indication that this year’s competition seriously lacked credibility and poorly organized, while some individuals wrongly received crown,” Wanda complained.
“I am disappointed; the Mark Butcher Committee disgracefully announced winners who did not deserve to be honored and there was no explanation given to justify why a particular candidate was awarded’’.
Meanwhile, this year’s ‘’Journalist of the Year’’ Peter QuaQua has returned the award to the Press Union of Liberia recognizing that he does not deserve such award and wants the award to be given to two active and deserving journalists as required.
‘’Let me pay tribute to the many young reporters who have remained true to their calling in spite of the difficult conditions they have to ply their trade. Oh! How I wish one of them would have been recognized,’’ Peter Quaqua stated.
‘’I therefore wish to donate the prize to the Union to strengthen the capacity of any two reporters who have demonstrated a measure of intelligence and courage in their works,” Mr. Quaqua added.
The sole purpose of the awards is to recognize deserving journalists and institutions for their works over the years.