Security Sector, Media Build Mutual Relationship

first_imgThe long-existing suspicion and distrust between the media and the security sector may wither away soon, now that the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) is taking steps towards bridging the gap between the two.At a one-day forum held on March 6, through the instrumentality of ACSS with support from the United States Embassy, representatives of various security apparatuses and some members of the Liberian media met for the first time and shared views as to why they do not share information to enlighten the public.Although the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-led Administration has given the much needed press freedom to the media and has signed a series of documents including the Table Mountain Declaration and the Freedom of Information Act, there has always remained difficulties in receiving information from security institutions including the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), the Liberia National Police, (LNP) the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, (BIN) amongst others.At the forum, security personnel accused the media of ethical issues including failure to protect source and publishing of sensational stories that are not balanced and lack elements needed to substantiate the idea portrayed in headlines.A member of the Armed Forces of Liberia indicated that most journalists in the country do not ascertain their stories before publishing; instead, they hastily rush to put unbalanced stories in the newspaper or on the radio.According to the AFL personnel, when the Armed Forces of Liberia was sending a troop to Mali last year, the troop could not leave the day speculated in the media, but another day.“Instead of following the issue to report the actual day the troop departed the ground, the speculation was published and there was no follow-up.  This makes us reluctant to believe information coming from the media,” the AFL personnel noted.Clarifying why security including the AFL does not just release information to the media for public consumption, Capt. Dessaline F. Allison, Chief of Public Affairs of the Armed Forces of Liberia said information is preserved in order to secure their operational activities which enemies do not need to know.Citing a reference to the crisis in the Ivory Coast, Capt. Allison said the Government of Liberia has committed itself to securing the border so that no Liberian or any rebellious group will cross to cause trouble in that country, but if suspects are caught, they cannot bluntly come out to announce to the public through the media because it will undermine the diplomatic relations between the two countries.According to him, the GOL’s Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) does not permit its public relations aparatus to put out certain information that may undermine the state, and as such the media will always blame government for not giving out information the public needs.Media practitioners at the forum in separate views also accused the security sector of intimidation and refusing to give information when requested.They said as a result of the poor relation exhibited by people in the security sector, they (media practitioners) go ahead and publish what they observe instead waiting for the other side of the story.The six-hour discussion, however, reached a consensus wherein the security sector and media agreed to work together in sharing publishable information and upholding information that may have security implications on the state.Speaking earlier at the opening of the forum, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, Sheila Paskman noted that government does not have to disclose everything to the press because of some legitimate reasons associated with state security.She cautioned the media to be credible and uphold its integrity by reporting balanced and accurate stories.Ms. Paskman said if readers do not see credible information in the news article,  they will lose interest in reading the paper or listening to the station; noting that journalists have to strive to write balanced stories to arouse readers’ interest.For Colonel Thomas Dempsey of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, “relationships between the media and government are very important in building democracy—especially the security sector.The forum was themed and styled: “Strategic Role of the Media in Security Sector Reform,” and based on this theme, Col. Dempsey said the Africa Center for Strategic Studies was bringing journalists and personnel of the security sector together to build a relationship through which the public will be involved with knowing what the state security is all about.Mr. James Momo, a former reporter of the Inquirer Newspaper now working with the ACSS told media practitioners that they have to consider that confidentiality was important in Journalism and that not all information is meant to be published.He said reporting on security requires accuracy and balancing like any other story, and therefore Journalists should build credibility and integrity by reporting fairly and in a balance manner.Meanwhile, the security sector in Liberia has been confidentially treated with not much information coming from there to the public.As a result, civilians perceive it to be more delicate—that acquiring information from there is illegal and would lead to grave consequences.With the new phenomenon emerging in building a relationship with the media, the phobia may be erased if the relationship is nurtured and consolidated.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Weah to Probe 2015 County Meet Opening

first_imgMontserrado County Senator, Amb. George M. Weah is investigating the kickoff of the 2015 National County Meet, amidst the stoppage of the usual US$350,000 from the government.Senate Plenary mandated the Montserrado County Lawmaker, who is former world class player, in its Tuesday’s Session to lead a specialized committee to probe the unsupported 2015 National County Meet, and advice the Senate in a week.The choice of Senator Weah’s Committee was owing to a communication from Rivercess County Francis S. Paye, indulging his colleagues not to allow the County Meet to kick-off in March because there is no government’s budgetary support.Senator Payne urged his colleagues to postpone the County Meet to October, considering sufficient time and government’s support.He said enough time should be given for preparation for the 15 counties and there must be adequate financial support from government as in the past.It may be recalled that Youth and Sports Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Internal Affairs has set the Annual National County Meet in March.The 2015 County Meet would officially begin in March and run through the Easter week in April to last for about three weeks.The official kick-off will be held in Sanniqullie, Nimba County; and all the 15 counties have been placed in four regional groups for the first rounds to be played at venues in Nimba, Bong, Grand Gedeh and Margibi Counties.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

McHUGH ANNOUNCES MAJOR FUNDING TO BOOST IRISH IN DONEGAL SCHOOLS

first_imgMinister of State for the Gaeltacht, Joe McHugh T.D has sanctioned a grant of €740,000 in total for Muintearas and Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne for the 2014/2015 school year to run the Irish-Language Assistants Scheme.He said €243,000 of the money has been allocated to Co Donegal schools.“This is another significant step in the implementation of the Family Language Support Programme,” said the Minister of State. “When that Programme was launched in April 2012, reference was made to the importance of an amended approach to the practical support of Gaeltacht families who are raising their children through Irish or who wish to do so.“The grant announced today will enable the two organisations that administer the Irish-Language Assistants Scheme to continue to actively support the preservation and strengthening of the Irish language in the Gaeltacht.”The Minister of State said he was pleased that the Department has expanded this scheme in recent years. “When the scheme began, the assistants focussed on those who didn’t have any Irish but now, children who already speak the language are being helped to enhance it. The scheme influences the language habits of students and ensures that Irish is used as the main language of communication, not just in the classroom but in the schoolyard as well”, said the Minister of State.gaeilge €740,000 ceadaithe ag an Aire Stáit do Ghnóthaí Gaeltachta, Joe McHugh T.D., chun Scéim na gCúntóirí Teanga a reáchtáil in 2014/15.D’fhógair an tAire Stáit do Ghnóthaí Gaeltachta, Joe McHugh T.D., inniu go bhfuil deontas, ar fiú €740,000 in iomlán é, ceadaithe aige do Mhuintearas agus d’Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne chun cur ar a gcumas Scéim na gCúntóirí Teanga a reáchtáil don scoilbhliain 2014/2015.“Is céim shuntasach eile é seo i bhfeidhmiú an Chláir Tacaíochta Teaghlaigh,” a dúirt an tAire Stáit.  “Nuair a seoladh an Clár sin i mí Aibreáin 2012, tagraíodh don tábhacht a bhí le cur chuige leasaithe chun tacú go praiticiúil le teaghlaigh Ghaeltachta a bhfuil a bpáistí á dtógáil acu le Gaeilge nó a dteastaíonn uathu a bpáistí a thógáil le Gaeilge. Mar gheall ar an gcúnamh atá á fhógairt inniu, beidh ar chumas an dá eagraíocht a riarann Scéim na gCúntóirí Teanga leanúint orthu ag tacú go gníomhach le caomhnú agus neartú na Gaeilge sa Ghaeltacht.”Dúirt an tAire Stáit gur cúis sásaimh dó é go bhfuil an Roinn tar éis cur leis an scéim seo le blianta beaga anuas.  “Nuair a cuireadh tús leis an scéim, bhí na cúntóirí ag díriú orthu siúd nach raibh an Ghaeilge ar a dtoil acu ach anois, cuidítear fosta le páistí a bhfuil an teanga acu cheana féin í a shaibhriú. Imríonn an scéim tionchar ar nósmhaireacht teanga na scoláirí agus cinntíonn sí go mbíonn an Ghaeilge in úsáid mar ghnáth-theanga chumarsáide, ní hamháin sa seomra ranga ach i gclós na scoile fosta,” a dúirt an tAire Stáit . McHUGH ANNOUNCES MAJOR FUNDING TO BOOST IRISH IN DONEGAL SCHOOLS was last modified: September 12th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more