A Liberian media advocacy group, Media Alliance for Democratic Governance (MADE) is urging the leadership of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) not to give credence to demand by the Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FeJAL) to reconstitute the National Media Council (NML).
At celebrations of World Press Freedom Day on May 3, 2017 in Monrovia, FeJAL Coordinator Siatta Scott-Johnson expressed disappointment in the leadership of the PUL for not having a slot on the Media Council for FeJAL.
Madam Scott-Johnson said the exclusion of her group does not speak well for females’ inclusion in the media.
However in a statement apparently to counter FeJAL’s demand, Media Alliance for Democratic Governance National Coordinator, Joseph F. Charlie, described FeJAL’s demand as not only selfish and unattainable, but a calculated ploy to introduce divisiveness in PUL under the pretense of advocating for Female journalists’ inclusion on the Council.
Mr. Charlie stressed that FeJAL’s demand during the celebration of World Press Freedom was totally misguided and intended to question PUL’s credibility and the ability of prominent Liberians serving on the Council.
The Media Council, which consists of nine members each, include three members from the media, two from religious groups, one from the Legislature, one from civil society, one from the academia and one from women groups.
The Media Advocacy group indicated that Mrs. Scott-Johnson’s statement was a complete irony because besides fully participating in the induction of the Council a forth night ago in Monrovia where she was recognized to make remarks, the Revised Code and the Media Council were adopted at the 3rd Tri-Annual Congress of the Press Union in Ganta, Nimba County on November 18, 2016, an event in which FeJAL participated.
Charlie is admonishing FeJAL to abandon its ‘unrealistic’ demand.
He believes that if such request is given credence, it will set a bad precedent as other auxiliaries of the PUL could also demand representation on the Council.