DCM Sheila Paskman Urges Journalists To Be More Professional

DCM Sheila Paskman addresses journalists at the annual congress of the Press Union of Liberia held recently in Monrovia.

U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Sheila Paskman has urged Liberian journalists to practice more responsible journalism, and she underscored the need for them to help build a strong democratic society through the dissemination of accurate and reliable information to the public.

“Democracy cannot work if people do not know what is going on,” DCM Paskman said.  She noted that one of the characteristics of democracy is that it invites the participation of everyone in the society.

“Journalists play a pivotal role in building a vibrant democratic society around the world because they are the eyes and ears of the people who depend on them for information that would direct their decision-making in the society,” the DCM said.

She added that “everyone has to take responsibility for what is happening in Liberia and journalists have to inform the public with relevant information and not sensationalism or falsehoods, which undermine the development of the nation.”

DCM Paskman says journalism is one of the most essential jobs in a democracy, and hoped that Liberian journalists will prepare for the challenges ahead to enhance the democratic process in Liberia.

The DCM was among a number of key personalities who spoke at the Annual Congress (March 20) of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) at the University of Liberia. The theme of this year’s Congress was “Strengthening Media Accountability & Development.”

Earlier, the keynote speaker, Country Director of Action Aid-Liberia Korto Reeves, challenged journalists to build their capacity for responsible and professional dissemination of information for Liberia’s socio-economic development.

Mrs. Reeves concluded by emphasizing that journalists are stakeholders in ensuring that peace and stability prevail in Liberia to help the country transform, rebuild and develop in the post-war period.