The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has commenced a two-day training for monitors who will scrutinize media contents, with the aim of enhancing professionalism and improving ethical standards.
The training is part of a year- long project funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to help professionalize the Liberian media. The project supports Goal 2, “Promoting Professionalism for Liberian Media Practitioners” of the PUL 2014-2016 Strategic Direction.
In remarks at the opening of the training Thursday, PUL President K. Abdullai Kamara said the project is in fulfillment of pledges made more than one year ago, that he would work to ensure increased professionalism in the Liberian media.
The trainees will monitor daily contents of radio and newspapers and record ethical and professional breaches for possible remedy through engagement of the Union's Grievance and Ethics Committee.
A media monitoring lab has already been established and equipped at the Union's headquarters for the activities.
“Over a period of the next one year, we will have an opportunity of highlighting ethical issues that come up in the media and how we can mitigate them,” Kamara told the trainers and monitors.
The media monitoring project will provide the Grievance and Ethics Committee an opportunity to become proactive and have more information about ethical issues.
The Union has been receiving increased complaints against journalists from the public and from journalist against public officials.
“We do not want the work of the Grievance and Ethics Committee to be only as a result of a complaint that has been brought forward to the Union,” he added.
The monitoring process will identify issues which will be discussed at a monthly forum with media stakeholders to identify where media entities went wrong and to provide advice for improvement.