By Morrison O.G. Sayon
As the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) observed its 50th anniversary, journalists in the country have been cautioned to stop attacking one another in the media.
Speaking on Wednesday at a ceremony hosted by the Managing Editor of the INQUIRER as part of activities marking the 50th anniversary of the PUL, Mr. Philip N. Wesseh (PNW) cautioned journalists not to allow themselves to be used by individuals to attack each others verbally on national radio or social websites.
Mr. Wesseh, a career journalist who was awarded by the Government of Liberia reminded media practitioners in the country that the media is the conduit of any society and as such journalists must play their role by informing and educating the public rather than attacking each others for little or nothing.
Mr. Wesseh, alias PNW stressed that journalists are to protect one another in the performance of their duties and not to allow themselves to be used to fight each others. “You must be there to protect each others; fighting one another is unacceptable,” the INQUIRER boss intimated.
He called on journalists to deal with the issues rather than attacking one another on the radio or social media adding. “There should be strong solidarity between journalists and media institutions; we are like brothers and sisters in the media and therefore we must protect each others,” PNW reiterated.
In a special message on the observance of the 50th anniversary of the PUL, Mr. Wesseh added, “As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, let us be our brothers’ keepers and not allow ourselves to be used as tools to castigate one another,” Mr. Wesseh who is called Gina in his newsroom furthered.
He said, “We are going to 51 years and we are old now, so we must be responsible in conducting ourselves in the media.”
At the same time, Mr. Wesseh has called on the PUL, the umbrella organization of media institutions in the country to be proactive in addressing issues affecting media organizations and journalists. He said the PUL must put into place what he calls a peer review mechanism to deal with issues relating to journalists and media institutions.
PNW added, “The PUL can’t wait until the situation worsens; let a proper peer review mechanism be done by the Union to address some of the issues.”
Meanwhile, the Managing Editor of The INQUIRER has called on the public not to take journalists to court as doing so will undermine the democratic process in the country. PNW said anyone who has problem with a journalist or media institution must take the matter to the PUL for proper redress rather than taking the case to court.
He said taking journalists to court is not healthy for the country’s young democracy and as such those going to court with media practitioners must desist from such act if the nation’s democracy is to perpetuate.
The Liberian journalist said journalists must avoid being enemies of each others and also wants PUL to strengthen its peer review mechanism and that the public must avoid dragging journalists to court.