Ambassador Designate Lewis G. Brown, former Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT), has said that Liberia’s political transformation is irreversible.
Speaking during the MICAT regular Tuesday press briefing in Monrovia, Mr. Brown, who was on Wednesday appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as an ambassador, said that the new governance model of increasing accountability to the people through steadier commitment to the democratic principle of checks and balances is being institutionalized.
“Liberia’s transformation is indeed on its trajectory to build a more just and equitable society for all. This can be fashioned on the works of each of us. I thank the Legislature and the Judiciary for their cooperation. I understand that the tangibles- roads, ports and electricity- have understandably commanded public interest.
“But I have seen our society leap forward on account of the changes in the intangibles. This is through the coordinated efforts of the three branches and evolution and consolidation of the new governance model in which the legislature has gotten stronger and judiciary more independent.
“Even though politics prevents the public from admitting to this, the new democratic order continues to unfold, Liberians and friends of Liberia are settling in the truth that Liberia’s political transformation is irreversible.
“I thank the Liberian media for their cooperation and support. Of course we have had our ups and downs but like we partnered against Ebola, I leave with the impression that that partnership can grow beyond the sidelines of the ‘watchdog’ into one which elevates the Liberian journalist to a place around the table of national decision making,” he said.
Ambassador Brown said Liberia and the African continent need journalists who are partners in development because it is no longer enough that “you watch out for and merely report the news, but that you are in partnership with the government.”
“The simple truth is that each action or inaction of the government affects all journalists, their families and friends. This, then, is why journalists must continue to advocate for that which makes our country better,” he noted.
However, he said, such advocacies must be pursued fairly and justly so that the society can continue to be better, more peaceful and prosperous for all Liberians.
“Over the course of my service, I became increasingly aware of various pressures on journalists. One important pressure is that more often than not, journalists are internationally celebrated by the deterioration in relations, or for the lack of a better descriptive, the perceived levels of antagonism between the government and the media,” he said.
Amb. Brown said the evolving truth is that the government and the media must work together for the good of society, adding: “This is demanded in a democracy if either partner intends to succeed.”
Ambassador Brown served as Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT) for four years. He was yesterday appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as an ambassador. He has yet to be assigned a diplomatic post.