A media advocacy group, Media Alliance for Democratic Governance (MADE) is encouraging the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) to set up a welfare fund.
According to the group, the fund would be used to cater to the needs of its members who may be stricken by severe illnesses, motor accidents, natural disasters and death.
The Media group maintained that the availability of the fund will do away with the current practice of the media sending SOS calls to the public for assistance whenever any of its members is in critical and stressful conditions.
The National Coordinator of MADE Joseph F. Charlie noted that since the PUL was established over four decades ago, its members struck by critical illnesses and other vulnerable conditions continue to rely solely on assistance from the public, philanthropists or goodwill gesture from top government officials for remedies.
Journalist Charlie indicated that a case in point is the recent donation of thirty thousand United States Dollars ($30,000.00) by President George Weah to cater to the medical needs of the Managing Editor of the Inquirer newspaper Philip Wesseh.
He also mentioned the intervention made by former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in addressing the medical needs of Journalist Al Johnson although he did not survive from his illness, as well as the sponsoring of a medical trip of journalist Zayzay Kpadeh to South Africa by former President Charles Taylor.
Mr. Charlie suggested that contributions to the welfare fund should be made by PUL members annually especially during the payment for membership identification cards. He added that PUL could also launch a formal program where local and international partners, the business community, and prominent personalities in society would be encouraged to contribute to the fund.
The Media group maintained that the proposed welfare fund when established could also be used to make meaningful contributions to the funeral and other activities earmarked for the burial of fallen journalists as well as to cater to their spouses or children.