School Authorities; Students; Newly Inducted Leaders; Guests; Ladies & Gentlemen:Participating in this activity is very special to me for two reasons – It is aimed towards making better journalists in Liberia – the primary responsibility I have as president of the Press Union of Liberia; and 2- to provide admonition for young people who are taking up leadership roles in this critical period in our country. I hope we can generate a useful conversation.We often repeat the rhetoric of Liberia being a post-conflict society. This couldn’t be further from the truth. However, we believe this should not be the end of the road. We must go forward. That leads us to the obligation of reconstructing, developing and safeguarding ourselves from going down memory lane to repeat what we lost out on.The truth is – we see a number of construction activities going on. But do they really and conclusively define our post-conflict reality? I leave the answer for a continuous process. We should, however, be more interested in ensuring the appropriate legal and operating environment that permits us free space for impartial governance, opportunities for citizen participation and evolution of the society based on the needs and aspirations of the people.Specifically, the legal reforms in our country are expressed through the ongoing constitution review process. Many of us see the current constitution through our parochial lenses – identifying issues that affect our views and at times ignoring those that do not directly affect us – though they may be hurting others.The challenge here is for all Liberians to begin to think beyond our current and comfort zones – and to consider for a moment:Why some people opt to run motorcycle taxis for a living?- despite unlawful and thoughtless restrictionsWhy others walk for miles on end daily selling cheap wares? – simply to raise some money to afford food for their kidsBoth issues relate to poverty, and none of us can doubt that. The obligation therefore, is for each of us to recognize that poverty is not necessarily the outcome of laziness, but there are instead inherent practices and actions by those in high and powerful positions that effectively keep others on the margins of life. Until we address these imbalances, we cannot expect to make Liberia better.Moving forward with this is greatly tied to the structures we have in place to enhance democracy and development in our country.Reference the constitution review process, I like to note that our current laws were an attempt to provide more integration in Liberian society, but unfortunately there remain many sections of the law that still point at exclusion – the same situation that informed the need for a constitution in the first place. The Constitution Review process must therefore take steps to reduce exclusion from our national polity. That is – reduce specters of conspiracy and strengthen our drive to prevent future conflicts. That includes preventing the renewal of any laws that unduly limit people in the exercise of their choices and freedom. Lest we forget, limiting freedoms may end up limiting creativity and innovation that are necessary for fueling development – and growing wealth.Added to these are laws that criminalize dissent – thus the need to rework our country into a clear and present democracy. We can however be hopeful that more persons are now enlightened and determined to be heard and to participate in the Liberian processes.Mr. President & Officers, Ladies & Gentlemen:The development programs – on the other hand – are reflected through a number of measures, including the administration led Poverty Reduction Strategy and the Agenda for Transformation; the Central Bank enhanced microcredit programs; the County Development Fund and even the proposed District Impact Funds. As flawed as we may consider several or all of these plans, we must however accept that they also include inherent benefits, which can be better understood through dialogue.That is why we believe that regardless of the faults of anyone’s ideas, criticism, engagements, etc. – once they do not call for and or drive towards outright war and destruction, they must be allowed the space. As offensive as their comments may seem, they should not be discounted at face value or the proponents punished on account of their propositions. This is because we must all accept that life (including Liberia) must be viewed as a kaleidoscope that works effectively with all components engaged.This drives us to the key purpose of this gathering – the induction of officers of a journalism students’ leadership.Leaders must maintain a constructive dialogue with the people they serve, so that the legacy of their leadership will reflect the needs and aspirations of the people – members – customers – occupants – employees – subjects – citizens, etc. Anything other than that is a waste of precious time.This is true irrespective of any such leadership being in a village, academic community, business organization or even at the supra national level.Specifically – at the student level, like in your case – the onus is on you a lot more to engage with your colleagues in driving programs that will make your educational pursuit and leadership experiences meaningful and productive. We challenge you to do just that! You will learn later, and must already be witness to the fact that maintaining such dialogues in leadership inspires the trust and confidence of your people.Reference the other part of this activity – the journalism development segment – we will note that journalism is a professional and noble service that thrives on reporting truth. When a journalist loses sight of the truth, his worth has been washed out and he should perhaps seek out another vocation – i.e- do anything that you consider worthwhile. I at times sarcastically say to others – become a tailor or mason. Truth however is once the people you work for lose faith in you, they will find other tailors or masons.Truth, however, is obviously quite easy. We however and often ignore it on account of our selfishness, greed, dishonesty, disregard for the rights and opportunities of our compatriots, and in fact a total lack of nationalism and patriotism. Journalists must avoid such circumstances.On the other hand, journalism is a human right – informed by various national and international instruments which guarantee our right to freely express ourselves on issues and choices – irrespective of the conditions and circumstances.While various countries try to place caveats to limit the space for journalists to operate, there are still a lot of forward thinking people who maintain that attempts to limit this right should only be restricted to extreme security circumstances. Notwithstanding, there are various professional ethics that guide people in the practice of this craft – towards keeping activities in good taste. Among other issues in media ethics are keeping solidarity with others who aspire to enjoy free expression; providing others reasonable opportunities to respond to issues involving their roles, characters, etc; protecting subjects from scorn and respecting the choices of all.This is necessary because a professional journalist has the obligation to provide space for all, and that cannot be easily possible, if you have a case against certain people, practices or concerns.The Press Union of Liberia is dedicated to supporting your group as it strives to produce professional journalists. As a freedom of expression organization, we are determined to stand up with all to freely express themselves, help secure the space for the enjoyment of this right, and help improve their professionalism.We welcome the establishment of the journalism training program, and we invite you to partner with us in helping to make your programs conform with best practice. We note that once you are determined to participate in journalism, you can go on and achieve laurels, whether we like it or not. Therefore, we have made our role one that will partner with all, and help you become more professional.Also, we invite you to seek membership in the Press Union of Liberia – to strengthen your solidarity in media practice, and to improve your confidence and professionalism as journalists.Over the coming period, we commit to assisting in the review of your curriculum, methodologies, students and diversity – in the hope that you will grow into a more professional program.Thank You!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
0Shares0000Manchester City are reported to have paid a club record £57 million ($80 million, 65 million euros) for Aymeric Laporte, picutred in 2016, © AFP/File / FRANCK FIFELONDON, United Kingdom, Jan 30 – Manchester City completed the signing of Aymeric Laporte on Tuesday as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reportedly arrived at Arsenal’s training ground to finalise his transfer from Borussia Dortmund, with clubs scrambling to beat Wednesday’s deadline.Premier League leaders City are reported to have paid a club record £57 million ($80 million, 65 million euros) for Athletic Bilbao defender Laporte, eclipsing the £55 million they paid for Kevin De Bruyne in 2015. The 23-year-old is also the second most expensive defender in history behind Virgil van Dijk, who cost Liverpool £75 million from Southampton earlier this month.Last week, Alexis Sanchez signed for Manchester United from Arsenal in a swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and with the clock ticking, it appears Arsene Wenger will land Aubameyang to boost his forward options.“I am very happy to be here,” Laporte said in a statement on Manchester City’s website. “City are a club with a lot of ambition and they are one of the best teams in Europe.“I am looking forward to working under Pep Guardiola and trying to help the club to achieve success.”City boss Guardiola said Laporte was ready to play straight away but may need time to adapt to the Premier League.“He’s fit, he’s been playing the last period,” Guardiola told reporters. “Of course he has to adapt because the Premier League is special in many senses.“He is intelligent, he will read what is the situation. Even for English players, when they come into the Premier League it’s always a little bit tough. We will be patient because he doesn’t come for three months, he comes for five years.”Guardiola has now spent more than £200 million on reinforcing his defence, bringing in Laporte alongside Benjamin Mendy (£52m), John Stones (£47.5m) and Kyle Walker (£45m).– Aubameyang flies in –Guardiola’s January spending might not be over after widespread reports that City are interested in Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez.Mahrez, 26, is reported to have handed in a transfer request as the Algerian tries to force through a move to Eastlands.Arsenal are understood to have agreed a fee of around £60 million with Dortmund for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but the German club will reportedly only sanction the move if they find a replacement © AFP/File / PATRIK STOLLARZCity also signed England Under-21 midfielder Jack Harrison from New York City on a three-and-a-half-year deal before sending him out on loan to Championship side Middlesbrough for the rest of the season.Sky Sports News reported Tuesday that Aubameyang, 28, had arrived in Britain on a private jet before travelling to Arsenal’s training ground near London.Arsenal are understood to have agreed a fee of around £60 million with the Bundesliga club for the Gabon international but the German club will reportedly only sanction the move if they find a replacement.Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is reportedly a key cog in the transfer — either as a direct replacement for Aubameyang or as part of a three-way deal, with Giroud moving to Chelsea and Michy Batshuayi swapping Stamford Bridge for Dortmund.Chelsea have secured the signing of left-back Emerson Palmieri from Roma for a reported £25 million on a four-and-a-half year deal.The 23-year-old played just twice for Roma this season after missing the first three months of the campaign with a serious knee injury.“I came here because it’s a great team with a great history. Today I am realising one of my dreams to pull on the shirt of such a great club,” Emerson told the Chelsea website.The Brazil-born defender, who joined Roma from Santos in 2015, obtained Italian citizenship last year.Elsewhere, Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, 28, left Anfield for struggling West Brom on a loan deal until the end of the season after slipping down the pecking order under Jurgen Klopp.Barcelona winger Gerard Deulofeu has become Javi Gracia’s first signing as Watford manager after arriving at Vicarage Road on loan until the end of the campaign.Celtic have signed Chelsea midfielder Charly Musonda on an 18-month loan deal, with left-back Baba Rahman departing Stamford Bridge for Schalke in a similar arrangement.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
No details of the conversation were released by the newspaper which said only that it was “friendly” while other reports said he had discussed tactics.La Gazzetta said that Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes is expected in Madrid on Tuesday when Real directors are scheduled to meet.However, rival sports paper Corriere dello Sport said the directors meeting had been put off so that “nothing would be revealed” about the deal.“The Cristiano Ronaldo affair has become a game of chess,” the newspaper said, adding that the endgame could be a close as today.However, details about transfer fees were still unclear with Gazetta citing 120 million euros ($140.5 million) and the Corriere putting the deal at between 130 and 150 million euros.Juve are ready to sign the five-times Ballon d’Or winner on a four-year deal for an annual basic salary of 30 million euros. Ronaldo, who joined Real in 2009, has complained that his Madrid salary of 23.6 million is too low.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Ronaldo, seen during Portugal’s World Cup defeat by Uruguay in Sochi, will reputedly cost Juve between 130 and 150 million euros and a basic salary of 30 million — having complained his current Real deal of 23.6 million is too low © AFP/File / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEVROME, Italy, Jul 10 – Cristiano Ronaldo’s reported move from Real Madrid to Juventus gained momentum Tuesday with reports that the multiple Ballon d’Or winner had already had talks with Massimiliano Allegri, the Italian champions coach.“Hello Ronaldo,” the Gazzetta dello Sport headlined a report saying that Allegri had called Ronaldo on Monday, suggesting the transfer deal was all-but done.