Communique Issued at the end of a One-day national forum on safety of journalists in Liberia


A one-day forum on the safety of journalists in Liberia was held at the Conference Hall of the YMCA by the Center for Media Studies and Peace Building (CEMESP) in collaboration with the Media Foundation for West Africa. The event was sponsored by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ghana and brought together journalists, the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), civil society involved with media development, and senior government officials. The program was characterized by remarks from different stakeholders which included reporters’ representatives, the PUL and the Ministry of Information. Several presentations were made during the event. These were done by:

  1. Media Development Specialists and veteran Liberian journalist, Maureen Sieh
  2. Deputy Minister of Information for Public Affairs, Eugene Fahngon
  3. Researcher/Principal Investigator, Worlds of Journalism Study, Julius Karnubah
  4. Chairperson of the National Media Council, Elizabeth Hoff
  5. Director of the Executive Protection Service, Trokon Roberts
  6. Inspector General of the Liberia National Police, Patrick Sudue


During the event, the following observations were made as it relates to the need for the protection of journalists in Liberia, especially in the post conflict context of the country:

  1. Historical abuses experienced by journalists in Liberia;
  2. Current challenges faced by journalists that focus on manipulations that journalists face in their reportage of corruption and vices;
  3. Keeping track of harassment and threats faced by journalists;
  4. The government claims that the country currently has, for the most part, a good record when it comes to the safety of journalists;
  5. The overall security situation of the country makes the risk to journalists really high;
  6. There exists hostility towards journalists from public officials;
  7. There are attempts geared at delegitimizing journalists by using terms like fake news;
  8. Economic challenges faced by media outlets pose challenges to journalistic freedoms;
  9. Pay receive by journalists also contribute to safety and freedom issues;
  10. Unethical journalism continues to be a challenge in Liberia,
  11. Friction has been noted between the media and the public especially members of the security forces;


Having noted these challenges, the event proffered the following recommendations:

  1. There is a need to craft a national action plan on the safety of journalists in Liberia;
  2. Safety protocols should be observed by journalists;
  3. Strategic plan on how the media can generate revenue should be explored;
  4. Institute a media quality barometer to track repeat offenders involved in ethical transgressions who get reported to the Media Council;
  5. The Liberian media should have renewed vision around common interests that are shared among journalists;
  6. The media should put in place measures that will set criteria that will define who can practice journalism in Liberia;
  7. There is a need to foster social protection of journalists in the course of their work;
  8. Journalists who are clearly identified should be protected in their line of duty;
  9. Journalists covering security related stories should be properly attired/identified to help security officials to properly relate to them;
  10. There should be a recruitment policy for media outlets

Done  in the city of Monrovia, this 31st day of March 2021

Share this story!

Related Stories