Media practitioners, especially the gatekeepers have been admonished to ensure that their works and decisions satisfy the larger society instead of a handful of people because the work of the media has greater bearing on the lives of people across the world, including decisions made by state and non-state actors in directing the destiny of modern human societies with Liberia being of no exception.
The call was made recently by a former Vice President of the Press Union of Liberia, Mr. Jacob Parley when he served as one of the facilitators at a journalism workshop organized by the Grand Bassa County Community College which was attended by reporters from several community radio stations from Grand Bassa and Rivercess Counties held in Buchanan City. arley who spent over a decade on the Liberia Broadcasting System’s Editorial Team, including News Editor (twice), Editor-In-Chief (twice) News Director, Executive Mansion Correspondent, etc, made the call recently when he served as one of the facilitators at a journalism workshop organized by the Grand Bassa County Community College in Buchanan City.
At the workshop, the veteran journalist who spent over a decade on the Liberia Broadcasting System’s Editorial Team, including News Editor (twice), Editor-In-Chief (twice) News Director, Executive Mansion Correspondent, etc drilled the participants through newsroom management, its origins and relevance as far as contemporary journalism is concerned
Mr. Parley who also served as the Press Union of Liberia’s first Media Alert Officer from 2017 to early 2019, warned that unless the work of the local media is built around promoting greater societal values and interest, it may not succeed in positively navigating public opinion on issues that continue to interplay the Liberian society.
He told participants that editorial work is time-consuming, risky and difficult, especially in larger newsrooms, where reports, releases and stories coming from the field have to pass through several editors before airing. He noted that such work in the newsroom especially gets frustrating and challenging when newcomers on the editorial team are unwilling to adhere to seniority norms from a professional perspective because of various reasons, one of which could be connection with policy makers at the top.
He said when such happens, it undermines the entire work, with most of the blame now being placed mainly on experienced people on the editorial team, and by extension causes embarrassment for the management of the concerned media entity
“It is like you have several cooks in one kitchen, one person just wakes up, without reference to the others and puts additional salt into the pot and the entire food gets tasteless or salty,” Mr. Parley observed.
Journalist Parley said his experience shows that lazy and pleasure-driven individuals cannot make good and successful editors because the job requires a lot of time, proper planning, patience, boldness, innovation and the ability to reprimand elements who violate editorial policies, no matter who they are. .
Parley has a long history of working in the media space having spent over a decade on the Liberia Broadcasting System’s Editorial Team, including News Editor (twice), Editor-In-Chief (twice) News Director, Executive Mansion Correspondent, etc,
Also during the workshop another LBS former News Director William Selmah, lectured on Media Law and Ethics.
Meanwhile, a son of Grand Bassa County, who has acquired multiple skills and education in Journalism, Education and Project Management, George Stewart, offered his services in less than 10 months to help the college setup the training program and a radio station. Mr. Stewart worked for the former Ducor Broadcasting Corporation, Love FM, and United Methodist Radio and spent over a decade in nonprofit project proposal development and management.