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Friday, June 14, 2024

PRESS SECRETARY KULA FOFANA’S UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT DEMANDS IMMEDIATE ACTION

Date:

The recent turmoil between the reporters assigned to the Executive Mansion and President Joseph Boakai’s Press Secretary, Kula Bonah Nyei Fofana, has exposed a troubling lack of professionalism and respect for the media. Reporters from various print, electronic, and online outlets have threatened a media blackout, citing persistent humiliation and a lack of cooperation from Fofana. This alarming development calls for immediate intervention from her superiors to rectify the situation and restore a respectful working relationship with the press.

The allegations against Fofana are serious and troubling. Reporters describe her behavior as egotistic and stingy, consistently undermining their efforts to cover the presidency. A particularly egregious incident involved reporters being stranded after their bus suffered a punctured tire on the way back from a coverage assignment. Instead of offering assistance, Fofana allegedly abandoned the reporters, leaving them without support for hours. This incident is indicative of a broader pattern of neglect and disregard for the reporters’ welfare.

Fofana’s actions are not only unprofessional but also counterproductive. By prioritizing the Executive Mansion’s Facebook Page over other media outlets, she has alienated the very journalists who play a crucial role in informing the public about the administration’s activities. This dismissive attitude has led to a significant reduction in media attendance at the “Every Friday” press briefings, once a vital platform for presidential communication.

The underlying issue appears to be Fofana’s lack of experience in mainstream journalism. Despite holding a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, she has not practiced in the field, leading to a noticeable gap in her media relations skills. Reporters describe her as temperamental and inscrutable, lacking the necessary jargon and understanding to manage press interactions effectively. This has resulted in a strained and adversarial relationship that is damaging to both the administration and the media.

Recent events, such as the graduation ceremony at the Liberia Maritime Institute and President Boakai’s three-day Cabinet Retreat, have further exacerbated tensions. Reporters claim they were neglected and not compensated for their efforts, with Fofana failing to acknowledge their contributions. This has fueled dissatisfaction and prompted several reporters to suspend their coverage of the presidency, a drastic measure that underscores the severity of the situation.

The need for immediate action is clear. Information Minister J. Matthew Piah, who has experience as a former press secretary, must intervene to mediate between Fofana and the reporters. His expertise and understanding of media dynamics can help resolve the conflict and restore a cooperative environment. Moreover, President Boakai must reassess Fofana’s suitability for the role of Press Secretary. The position requires a seasoned journalist or communication expert who can foster a positive relationship with the press and ensure effective communication with the public.

The potential for a full media blackout is a serious threat that cannot be ignored. Transparency and accountability are cornerstones of good governance, and the media plays a vital role in upholding these principles. Fofana’s behavior is undermining this relationship and, by extension, the administration’s credibility.

It is imperative that President Boakai and his team act swiftly to address these issues. Kula Fofana’s conduct is unacceptable and detrimental to the functioning of the Executive Mansion’s communications team. Immediate steps must be taken to ensure that reporters are treated with the respect and professionalism they deserve. Only through decisive action can the administration repair its relationship with the media and ensure that the public remains informed about the important work being done at the Executive Mansion.

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Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet and a product of Smart Media Group Inc. Our website, smartnewsliberia.com, covers a broad spectrum of news content. For inquiries or information, you can reach us at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or email us at smartnewsliberia@gmail.com or info@smartnewsliberia.com.

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