As various civil society groups in the country grapple with their independence and neutrality, having been tempered with to some extent with political forces, the Press Union Liberia continues to project itself a lone voice in the wilderness respected by all across the aistle. Though there have been snags here and there, the Union characteristically survives turbulence and remains a shining crusader of the Liberian people’s quest for rights and freedoms. During occasions such as World Press Freedom Day, this bastion of media civil liberties and freedom, PUL, finds time to reflect on its turtuous struggle in a highly politicized environment. This year, the venue for reflection is solitary Barclayville City, Grand Kru County, where journalists and those who support press freedom are headed. The Analyst reports.
Remote Barclayville City, in Southeastern Grand Kru County, is the venue for the celebration of World Press Freedom Day in Liberia and journalists and media stakeholders and supporters are trooping to those parts of the county.
Mr. Akoi M. Baysah, Jr., Assistant Secretary General of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), announced late last week, informing “all journalists, media workers, and lovers of liberty in Liberia that all is set for the celebration of the World Press Freedom Day with the People of Grand Kru County.”
He indicated in the announcement that all journalists desirous of making the trip were asked to register at the Headquarters of the Press Union of Liberia on 44 Clay Street and that T-shirts were ready and could be picked up after the payment of US$25.00 contribution toward the trip.
“Departure is scheduled for Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 8am. Pickup point is the Headquarters of the Press Union of Liberia,” said Baysah in the announcement.
He further noted that the 3rd of May every year is set aside for the global celebration of the fundamental principles of press freedom to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
This day was proclaimed World Press Freedom Day by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991.
Accordingly, the PUL has chosen Grand Kru County as part of its effort to decentralize the activities of the Press Union of Liberia and situate journalists appropriately in telling the full Liberian Story.
This orator as the PUL’s World Press Freedom Day celebrations is the Deputy Speaker of the 54th Legislature and Grand Kru County District #2 Representative, Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa.
It has already been reported that Represenative Koffa arrived in Barclayville Thursday ahead of the 2021 World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) celebration.
Formal indoor programs is slated for today, Monday, May 3, 2021.
The theme for this year’s World Press Freedom Day is, “Information as a Public Good; 30 years of the Windbook Declaration.”
Consistent with the theme of the day, the Grand Kru County lawmaker will be reflecting on the struggle of the media in Liberia, the role of journalists in attaining peace and democracy and what is expected of journalists in 21st Century Liberia.
Rep. Koffa is a Counselor-at-Law and a longtime friend of the Liberian media. He has been particularly supportive of media penetration of Grand Kru, having set up Radio Ahteenah in his home county as a way of enhancing information flow in and out of the county.