PUL dialogues for Media safety

By: Precious Gaye

To build collaborative safety measures for journalists, PUL held dialogue with security personnel in Monrovia on October 3, 2015.

The one day meeting tagged, Media- Security dialogue held at the National Police Training Academy (NPTA) in Paynesville brought together executives from both sectors.

Making comments at the program, Deputy Police Officer for Administration, Colonel William Mulbah, disclosed that “we cannot work in isolation, we have to work with those who carry information to the public; it is about time for us to collaborate.”

In retrospect of a long existing issue around security involving media practitioners, Publisher of the Front Page Africa acknowledged that “I have been a victim, if you do not invest in communication, you will have problems, and unawareness hinders collaboration.”

Speaking in the same manner, Professor James Wolloh said, “I see a way forward by enhancing mutual respect, the interaction between the media and the security should be decentralized.”

For his part, Liberia National Fire Service Boss, Colonel Warsuwah Barvoul urged media practitioners to make inquiries about the functions of the (LNFS) to debunk previous narratives.

Also making comments at the program, representative from the Ministry of National Defense, David Dahn asserted that “we will continue to work together within limitations because there are issues of national security; the security sector works in a particular way.”

The Chairman of the (PUL) Grievance and Ethics committee Frank Sainworla stated that the issue of National Security is at times abused by security personnel trying to conceal or disguise. He underscored the need for editors to be briefed in such instances, and that the security personnel should be trained to understand the role of the press.

Speaking at the close of the program, the President of the (PUL), Abdullai Kamara, asserted that media security issue is a sustained engagement.

The event was organized in observance of the 51st Anniversary of the (PUL) and climaxed with a football match.

The Press Union of Liberia was founded in 1964 to advocate for press freedom and the protection of journalists in Liberia and currently serves as the umbrella organization for Liberian media professionals and institutions with approximately 500 journalists as members.

The (PUL) works in collaboration with partners and has networks with several local and international organizations such as International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) West African Journalists Association (WAJA) The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) among others.