LIBERIA: COMMISSIONER DUKULY OF NEC CALLS ON JOURNALISTS TO PROMOTE PEACE DURING ELECTIONS
A Commissioner of the National Elections Commission, Boakai Dukuly, has cautioned Liberian journalists to use the airwaves to promote peace during the 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections.
Speaking at a Two-Day NEC and Partners support media training on elections reporting and conflict prevention held in Tubmanburg City Tuesday Commissioner Dukuly said the media through its reportage can create peace as well as conflict.
According to the NEC Commissioner, truth-telling, civility and balanced coverage are elements that encourage peace, as such journalists must follow these guiding principles of the profession.
“We have seen radio stations in this Country pronounce results that they don’t have,” Commissioner Dukuly lamented.
“Anytime you sit behind the microphone, think about what Liberia you had during the 90s, a Country that was a founding member of the League of Nations, the United Nations, literally destroyed by us,” Commissioner Dukuly pointed out.
He said the Country was ravaged during these periods because of the news, politics, and societal vices that were being perpetrated in the Country.
Commissioner Dukuly, who has oversight on Political and Security Affairs at the National Elections Commission, urged journalists to be balanced and not to allow their reports to be strengthened to where they get the “gravy” from.
In her remarks, at the media training, the President of the Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FeJAL), Mrs. Ciatta Scott-Johnson, thanked the NEC and partners for the training, and called on the journalists to ensure that their coverage is based on ethical values.
Mrs. Johnson also called on the journalists to ensure that all actors in elections are afforded equal opportunities at all media institutions.
At the same time, she called on the media personnel to be gender sensitive, and also provide a level playing field for all Liberians, noting that it will help in fostering peace.
Speaking earlier, UNDP Capacity Strengthening Specialist, Zage Filiposki, assured the UN agency’s continuous support towards the conduct of peaceful, free, fair, and transparent elections in Liberia.
The UNDP Specialist used the occasion to call on journalists to work hard in preventing fake news and misinformation, adding that the two are serious threats to peace.
He also called on the general public to uphold the peace the Country is currently enjoying.
The workshop, which is supported by LESP Basket Fund Donors including Sweden, Irish-AID, and the European Union in partnership with Internews and local voices, brought together editors and journalists from Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, and Gbarpolu Counties to discuss the significance of the media in elections and strategize to prevent and combat the detrimental effects of inflammatory hate speech, misinformation, and disinformation in the media.