Several journalists, particularly those assigned to cover justice and security issues, on Saturday December 17, completed a two-day seminar held under the theme, “Media Coverage of Justice and Security Institutions.”
Topics covered during the gathering were how to access information from security institutions, information considered as classified and basic criminal justice terminologies.
The training was held at the office of the Center for Criminal Justice Research and Education on Camp Johnson Road. It was organized by the Liberia National Law Enforcement Association (LINLEA).
The seminar provided an opportunity for journalists and directors of public affairs of law enforcement agencies for the first time to discuss challenges and find ways to cover security related matters.
Those public affairs directors that attended and made presentations were Sam Collins of the Liberia National Police (LNP), James T. Kpadeh of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) and Mrs. Jasseh Ganyan of the Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS).
LINLEA’s president Cecil B. Griffiths said the intent of the training was to bring the public affairs directors and journalists together to resolve constraints encountered by journalists in accessing information from law enforcement agencies.
“One of your major challenges is the lack of information sharing, and the need for cordial working relationship between the public affairs directors and the journalists,” Griffiths.
In separate remarks, Collins, Kpadeh and Ganyan lauded the organizer and promised to ensure that the lessons learnt would be implemented by their respective bosses.
“Law enforcement agencies and journalists need to cooperate to facilitate each other’s work,” said LNFS press director Ganyan.
Meanwhile, in her remarks, journalist Victoria Wesseh of the Analyst Newspaper described the training as a “way forward for both the law enforcement agencies and journalists.”
She called on heads of law enforcement agencies not to see journalists as their “enemies, but to consider them as partners in keeping our country peaceful.”
“We are not your enemies. We are only doing a professional job to ensure that our country is stable,” Wesseh assured.