Ongoing Presidential and Legislative Elections in Liberia are an important action in cementing the consolidation of peace as well as democratizing the West African region. As part of this democratization process, the Press Union of Liberia is ensuring the protection of free expression, journalists and media workers’ safety during and after the polls. Journalists and PUL members’ deportment is also a center of stringent cross-checking in the elections.
Already, the number of attacks against journalists in recent weeks has increased almost in direct proportion to inflammable rhetoric coming out of some media institutions and journalists on social media.
Some supporters of political parties have also been accused of beating journalists at different locations across Liberia.
In an effort to ensure journalists’ safety and proper deportment of media professionals, the Press Union of Liberia convened this UNESCO sponsored symposium for POLITICAL PARTIES AND MEDIA ON SAFETY & DEPORTMENT OF JOURNALISTS DURING AND AFTER THE 2017 LIBERIAN ELECTIONS at the YMCA, Broad Street, Monrovia, Liberia on October 31, 2017.
Politicians have vowed to ensure the safety of journalists; and journalists and media workers have also guaranteed professional deportment through the historic transition in Liberia.
The political present agreed to:
1. Educate partisans on the role of Journalists;
2. Organize symposiums comprising politicians and journalists to exchange views between political parties and journalists; and
3. Protect reporters and provide them access to their events at all times.
The journalists present agreed to:
1. Abide by all standards of the media in Liberia and as members of the Press Union of Liberia remain non-partisans;
2. Must not accept CARTO (gift) to report stories;
3. Must take the necessary precaution during danger;
4. Ensure that as members of the Press Union of Liberia they must conduct themselves in a conflict sensitive manner;
5. Ensure that the Press Union Liberia must monitor the papers and television and radio stations and take prompt and timely to shame journalists who violate the standards of journalism;
6. Remain professional all times, including avoiding reporting on speculations, even on social media; and
7. Must be mindful of what they say, write and publish.
Journalists at the Safety Symposium recommended the revision of the constitution of the Press Union of Liberia in the near future.
Done in this City of Monrovia on the 31st day of October in the year 2017
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