Information Minister Lewis Brown has asserted that the Government of Liberia is committed to supporting and working in open partnership with all media practitioners across the country.
He stressed that, “We are fully committed to the media and intend to ensure everyone wins in a more professional and ethical manner with no plans to sanction any media house. We will continue to partner to ensure that our people are informed about the happenings in Liberia,” he said.
Minister Brown made those remarks last Friday at the Information Ministry’s daily Ebola briefing, during which he clarified among other issues, media registration with the Ministry.
According to him, the intent of registering and processing all advertisement, arrangement of special media coverage, press conferences through MICAT is to proactively address the issue of “ethical transgression on the part of some media practitioners and government entities”.
At the same time, Minister Brown reiterated calls to media houses to comply with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed last October between the Press Union of Liberia and the Information Ministry by renewing their licenses on or before January 30 ensuing.
He indicated that unless print or broadcast licenses are renewed by the Information Ministry, these media houses stand the risk of either losing their frequencies or publications, adding that they will not get tax clearances from the Finance Ministry or business registration renewals from the Commerce Ministry if they refused to register.
According to the MOU, which has received mixed reactions from Liberian journalists, the PUL is to register journalists, while the ministry registers media houses.
Meanwhile, the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) is urging all journalists to register as agreed upon in the MOU last year.