A Free Press is Not an Irresponsible Press

first_imgMany people seem to be under the impression that a free press means that the media can say whatever it wants. That is not the meaning, though. Free press means that the media is able to report on all events and issues that affect the lives of the public without interference or limitation by the government. However, the basic tenets of good reporting still apply. What are those basic tenets? Accurate, verifiable information confirmed by multiple sources. It does not mean that the reporter can pull together unrelated quotes to make an article reflect his or her personal point of view.I recently held a press roundtable to sum up my time here in Liberia as Ambassador for the United States of America to Liberia. I pointed out progress I have seen as well as areas of concern that need the attention of all the people of Liberia. However, Front Page Africa misrepresented both the content and tone of what I said. Especially egregious among the many misrepresentations was a quote attributed to me that questioned the readiness of Liberia’s security forces to assume responsibility as UNMIL draws down. This is absolutely false, as a transcript from this session will bear out. While acknowledging the work that remains to be accomplished, I also noted progress and emphasized the responsibility that citizenry also plays in ensuring a law-abiding culture takes root and flourishes – in response to two different questions, one on mob violence and one on the UNMIL drawn down. I said:“As for mob violence, it continues to be a concern for us and others, and I think for Liberians themselves to see how quickly some of these incidents can spin out of control. Again, I go back to this need for personal and community responsibility, which each citizen has a role to play in ensuring the security and stability of the State. The government and the security forces have a certain role to play, but they cannot be in every single location. So, it’s really incumbent on communities and counties and districts to develop their own mechanisms to ensure that people don’t allow these kinds of events to spin out of control. When they happen and they end up in either injuries or death to individuals, or destruction of property, you’re only hurting yourselves – you’re not necessarily hurting the target of that anger.Then in response to a different question on the UNMIL draw down:“We have confidence that over time that the government and the people of Liberia are developing the mechanisms and the systems and the institutions to assume responsibility for their own security. And, that really is something that has to happen. It’s been a long time coming. UNMIL has now been here for 12 years, almost 13 years…That’s a long time for a peace keeping mission. Over the last several years, their actual role in terms of maintaining security in the country has really been diminishing. You see them around, but they’ve been drawing down gradually over the last couple of years. So, it’s an inevitable process. It’s something that has to happen. We work, the UN works, with the Liberian National Police. We, of course, have been working with the Armed Forces of Liberia. We work with the Drug Enforcement Agency. Other partners are working with BIN. They are gradually developing capacity to take on responsibility. We’ve seen some progress with the LNP. There’s a lot more work that needs to be done, particularly at the level of local police officers.” Good reporting is an essential part of democracy. It helps the people understand what is happening in their country and with their government. It enables people to become better citizens and respond to issues that affect their lives. However, the press is powerful, and bad reporting is contrary to the goal of a free press. Bad reporting is incendiary – leading to public discontent and reaction that is not in keeping with building a strong, stable country. Journalism is a powerful tool that needs to be used wisely. When used well, journalism improves the country and the lives of the people. When used poorly, journalism is a destructive weapon. I encourage all of the media outlets in Liberia to use their powerful tool of journalism wisely.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgBrendan Boyce back home for the Milford 5kWORLD class walker Brendan Boyce showed he can run too when he finished fourth in his hometown 5k in Milford,Brendan was taking part in the John Kilmartin Memorial 5k which was won by clubmate Ivan Toner.All the results are below. 1 24 16.04 Ivan Toner SM Letterkenny AC2 37 16.21 Dean Toland SM Finn Valley AC 3 79 16.28 Andrew Friel SM Finn Valley AC4 107 16.35 Brendan Boyce SM Letterkenny AC5 118 16.43 Ciaran Crawford SM Letterkenny AC6 46 16.46 Paul Toner M40+ Letterkenny AC7 139 16.47 Conal McCambridge JM N Belfast Har8 15 16.55 Dan King SM Letterkenny AC9 76 17.07 Adam Friel SM Letterkenny AC 10 96 17.15 Noel Diver SM Rosses A.C.11 106 17.17 Liam Doherty M35+ Cranford AC12 25 17.22 Garreth Kerrigan SM Milford AC13 33 17.27 Jude O’Donnell M40+ Individual 14 13 17.28 Hugh Coll M40+ Individual15 143 17.38 Callum Boyce SM Individual16 93 17.39 Fionnuala Diver SW Letterkenny AC17 41 17.54 Declan Doherty SM Foyle Valley18 12 17.57 Mark Mc Paul JM Individual19 59 17.58 PJ Boyce M45+ Cranford AC20 74 17.59 Joe Gallagher SM Individual21 43 18.07 David McNish M40+ Individual22 32 18.18 Peter Lillburn M60+ City Of Derry23 21 18.21 Damian McBride SM Milford AC24 136 18.22 John Whoriskey SM Individual25 78 18.23 Joe Hegarty M45+ Individual26 34 18.32 Stephen Mitchell JM Individual27 16 18.36 Gerard Mc Gettigan M50+ Milford AC28 30 18.37 Joe Gallagher M40+ Milford AC29 128 18.42 Raymond McGahey M45+ Individual30 115 18.43 Michael Gallagher JM Individual31 137 18.44 Curly Coyle M35+ Individual32 63 18.45 Dylan McGarrigal JM Individual33 141 18.53 Ciaran Gallaher SM Individual34 80 18.54 Andrew Stoddard SM Individual35 147 18.56 Michael Burke SM Individual36 133 19.06 Stewart Mcgee SM Individual37 85 19.10 Mark Houston JM Individual38 129 19.13 Brian Doherty SM Milford AC39 31 19.27 Michael Gallagher M50+ Foyle Valley40 127 19.40 Darragh Kelly SM Individual41 77 19.42 Cathal Morrison M40+ Individual42 20 19.51 Ray McGrory SM Milford AC43 58 19.54 Liam Marley M50+ Cranford AC44 90 19.54 Patrick McConigley JM Letterkenny AC45 88 20.12 PJ Friel M50+ Individual46 65 20.18 Phil Boyle M40+ Letterkenny AC47 142 20.26 Peter McGinley JM Individual48 64 20.28 Rossa Doherty JM Individual49 97 20.31 Owen McLaughlin JM Individual50 121 20.33 Gerard Dorrian M45+ Individual51 134 20.36 Paul Lee SM Individual52 57 20.37 Gillian Marley JW Milford AC53 103 20.40 Manus Boyce SM Individual54 35 20.42 Michael Simms JM Individual55 124 20.52 Noel Kilpatrick SM Individual56 40 20.56 Brian McBride M60+ Letterkenny AC57 104 20.58 Eugene McGinley M45+ Individual58 2 21.05 Kenny Graham M40+ Individual59 113 21.05 Kiaran Burke SM Individual60 146 21.08 Cian McGettigan JM Individual61 84 21.08 Daniel Cullen SM Letterkenny AC62 51 21.15 Francis Diver M45+ Milford AC63 75 21.16 Martin Gallagher SM Individual64 89 21.23 Emma Mcgee SW Individual65 132 21.28 Seamus Cannon M50+ Individual66 55 21.33 James Doherty M60+ Milford AC67 122 21.40 Patrick McNulty SM Individual68 36 21.40 Mark Wilson JM Individual69 100 21.42 John McKelvey SM Individual70 101 21.42 Ciaran Doherty SM UnitedHealthGroup71 110 21.46 James McBride M60+ Individual72 23 21.49 David Oleary SM Individual73 117 22.02 John Boyce SM Individual74 86 22.03 Serena Mcdaid SW Individual75 105 22.11 Sean O’Donnell M50+ Individual76 48 22.20 Jackie Harvey W50+ Tír Chonaill AC77 44 22.21 vera Haughey W50+ Tír Chonaill AC78 148 22.22 Gloria Donaghey W50+ Finn Valley AC79 299 22.23 Owen O’Donnell Walker Milford AC80 140 22.24 Ita McCambridge W50+ North Belfast Harriers81 22 22.36 Liam Doherty M40+ Individual82 150 22.39 Grace Friel W40+ Milford AC83 125 22.39 Aodhan Dorrian JM Individual84 66 22.40 Ciaran Liddy M35+ Individual85 81 22.41 Matt Doherty M40+ Individual86 11 22.43 Laird Mc Kinnley SM Milford AC87 56 22.47 Marrian Kerr SW Letterkenny AC88 47 22.57 Declan Friel M40+ Milford AC89 67 23.19 Patricia Orsi W45+ Milford AC90 87 23.19 Patrick Sweeney M40+ Individual91 114 23.21 tara Jacob SW Individual92 131 23.23 John Burke M40+ Individual93 135 23.29 Annette Sheahy W35+ Milford AC94 300 23.34 Owen Hiemstra Walker Milford AC95 14 23.35 Sylvster Heistra M40+ Milford AC96 82 23.39 Alison Stoddard SW Individual97 19 23.54 Orla Cullan SW Milford AC98 130 23.57 Nancy McNamee W40+ Finn Valley AC99 45 24.08 Rosemary McNish W40+ Individual100 145 24.09 Amanda Quinn W35+ Individual101 149 24.10 Yvonne O’Donnell SW Milford AC102 39 24.12 Gary Rodgers SM Individual103 116 24.15 Grainne Cullen SW Individual104 109 24.20 Frank McGettigan M50+ Individual105 99 24.22 Damian Doherty M35+ Individual106 144 24.26 Pat Sweeney M40+ Individual107 3 24.31 Pat Ferry M40+ Individual108 1 24.32 John Ward SM Milford AC109 28 24.59 Dermot Friel JM Individual110 4 24.59 Pat Mc Kenna W40+ Letterkenny AC111 6 25.34 Eammon Ferry M40+ Milford AC112 61 25.39 Joanne Kilmartin W35+ Individual113 60 25.41 Paul Mcnally SM Individual114 62 25.46 Garry Coll SM Individual115 10 25.53 Kelly Mc Kinley SW Milford AC116 111 25.54 Valerie Coyle SW Individual117 108 25.54 Mary McLaughlin SW Individual118 38 26.18 Amanda Toland SW Individual119 298 26.22 Paul Ryan Walker Milford AC120 50 26.22 Agnus Ryan SW Milford AC121 17 26.33 Martin Mc Hugh M50+ Milford AC122 123 26.57 Anne Kelly W40+ Individual123 94 27.12 Catherine Boyle W50+ Individual124 151 27.13 Michael Douglas M40+ Individual125 91 27.17 Roisin Doherty SW Individual126 54 27.19 Anne Doherty W60 Milford AC127 49 27.38 Desmond Brownlie M65+ Lagan Valley128 70 28.00 Noreen Fagan SW Individual129 126 28.14 Maureen Gallagher SW Individual130 152 28.14 Sean Douglas M40+ Individual131 92 28.17 Mary McGrath W35+ Individual132 95 28.25 Linda Grant SW Individual133 83 28.28 Bridgin Blaney SW Milford AC134 7 28.32 Linda Harkin SW UnitedHealthGroup135 9 28.33 Sinead Kinnear SW UnitedHealthGroup136 18 28.33 Thomas McGinty M40+ Individual137 68 28.37 Brid Mcdaid SW Individual138 52 28.37 Mariead Sharkey W40+ Milford AC139 69 29.13 Julie Murphy W45+ Individual140 98 29.14 Gerard Grant SM Individual141 29 29.18 Josie Gallgher W40+ Individual142 120 29.19 Josephine Burke W50+ Individual143 8 30.26 Carol Ferry W35+ Milford AC144 73 30.52 Anne Quinn W35+ Individual145 138 31.21 Adam Friel JM Individual146 71 31.21 Mary Gallagher SW Individual147 119 32.03 Magella Orr W35+ Individual148 72 32.43 Kathleen McCourt W40+ Individual149 53 33.55 Margaret Deeney W40+ Milford AC150 201 35.03 Claudia Ward JW Individual151 26 37.30 Bridget Friel W40+ Milford AC152 27 37.30 Margaret Black SW Milford AC153 290 37.57 Ashling Dorrian Walker Individual154 291 40.53 Aoife McGettigan Walker Milford AC155 292 40.55 Rachel Conaghan Walker Milford AC156 294 44.46 Margaret Boyce Walker Milford AC157 295 44.46 Mary Odonnell Walker Milford ACTotal Runners: 157RESULTS: BRENDAN BOYCE SHOWS HE CAN RUN TOO IN MILFORD 5K was last modified: September 1st, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click 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