MONROVIA – In anticipation of the forthcoming elections on October 10, 2023, the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has released an official statement addressing the treatment of journalists and reporters across the country.
Journalists have played a pivotal role in providing comprehensive coverage of the electoral process, including political campaigns and creating platforms for ordinary Liberians to voice their opinions on national governance objectives.
In a press release, the PUL underscores the indispensable role that responsible journalism plays in the entirety of our nation. Journalists are entrusted with upholding ethical standards in their service to the nation and its people, the Union reiterates.
The PUL fervently advocates for continuation of open and respectful dialogue concerning the upcoming elections and the overall security of the nation. This dialogue, the Union believes, can be facilitated by the media through in-depth articles, broadcast reports, and analyses that inform the democratic decisions made by our esteemed leaders.
Furthermore, the Union urgently urges all individuals, journalists included, to exercise prudence when expressing opinions, ensuring that their statements, reporting, and articles are substantiated by verifiable evidence. Stressing the paramount importance of maintaining a constructive and credible conversation that serves the nation’s interests and safeguards its peace, the PUL insists.
As we approach this crucial juncture in our nation’s history, the Press Union of Liberia remains committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism, fostering a climate of responsible reporting, and promoting dialogue that strengthens our democracy and preserves the peace and unity of Liberia.
The Union is simultaneously urging political actors and joint security forces to guarantee the safety and protection of journalists across the country during and after the polling period. Journalists must receive assistance from security forces and NEC staff at polling precincts throughout the voting process. Polling staff and security forces are the primary authorities for elections and should be respected by all reporters covering the election, following their instructions diligently.
Meanwhile, the Press Union of Liberia has strongly condemned the appalling violence that occurred on Somalia Drive on October 8, 2023, resulting in the tragic death of one individual. The Union demands that the Liberia National Police (LNP) conduct a thorough investigation into this senseless act of violence, which reportedly involved members of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the All Liberia Coalition Party (ALCOP). The perpetrators responsible for the loss of life must be held accountable through a fair judicial process in accordance with the law.