The Interim Leadership of the Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) has praised the Press Union of Liberia for suspending its Vice President, Jallah Grayfield.
The organization says the suspension of Jallah by the PUL’s Executive Committee is a significant step aimed at curtailing ethical transgressions in the Liberian media.
The PUL leadership recently suspended Vice President Grayfield for one month without benefits for his participation in a fake “PUL Prestigious Award” ceremony which was organized by the National Publishers and Broadcasters Association headed by Liberian journalist Rufus Paul. The bogus award was presented to Mr.Ceebee C.D. Barshell, a local Liberian businessman on Friday, February 13, 2015.
ALJA’s Interim Leadership says its supports the PUL for the corrective action taken against the suspended V.P. and further called on the PUL to stand firm in penalizing Liberian journalists, who willfully choose to engage in malpractices in the name of the union.
In a press release to Bamba 1 News/Radio, the association said the suspension would serve as a deterrent to others, who may decide to emulate the action of the PUL’s V. P. and his collaborators. ALJA noted that it is hypocritical for Liberian journalists, who are considered the watch dogs of the country to go after public officials and private citizens under the guise of fighting corruption while indulging in similar acts.
ALJA described the involvement of Mr. Grayfield in the fraudulent honoring ceremony conducted in the name of the PUL as unfortunate. ALJA maintained that if, the roles of the union and the Liberian media are to be taken seriously in the fight against graft in the country, it is imperative for the deeds of journalists in the public domains to be above the fray.
The association thanked PUL’s President, Abdullai Kamara and the Chairman of the union’s Grievance and Ethics Committee, Frank Sainworla for the outstanding stewardship demonstrated in savaging the image and credibility of the PUL and the Liberian media as a whole in the wake of Mr. Grayfield and his co-conspirators’ bogus honoring ceremony.
During his induction on December 27, 2013, in Monrovia, Liberia, President Kamara said, “We hope to nurture the next generation of journalists in Liberia to insist on pursuing the truth, even as it is becoming fashionable to use public platforms as a forum to trade falsehood for dollars. This involves strengthening our professionalism and telling the Liberia story responsibly such that anyone found guilty in the court of public opinion growing out of our reportage is truly guilty by all reasonable standards.” The recent suspension of its V.P. is a clear indication that the PUL is leaving no stone unturned, not even its own.
In a related development, ALJA is commending the PUL leadership and its membership on the union’s planned mini-congress to be held on March 13th and 14th in Monrovia, Liberia.
The Association says it welcomes the gathering, which is expected to high-light the welfare, low salaries, and better working conditions of Liberian journalists as part of the deliberations.
ALJA said poverty remains a key hurdle to media development in Liberia. It lauded the PUL leadership for the strides it is making in improving the living and working conditions of Liberian journalists.