The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has named Samuel Kpanbayeazee Duworko, II, as the new executive director of Liberia Media Center (LMC). The decision to appoint Mr. Duworko followed a vigorous vetting process by the leadership of the union, PUL President Charles Coffey told journalists at a press conference yesterday in Monrovia.
The governing board of directors of the LMC, headed by the president of the PUL thought it wise to seek the applications of qualified and interested individuals to fill the gap left by the late Lawrence Randall.
According to Mr. Coffey, prior to naming Mr. Duworko, an announcement was made through a number of media outlets and 11 persons from different media houses and educational institutions applied and an intensive interview conducted to identify the most qualified from among the applicants was conducted, and Duworko emerged as the best candidate.
Duworko, a lecturer of English and journalism at the University of Liberia, has been congratulated by the Board of LMC and assured of its commitment to support him in his endeavors to promote the developmental media agenda of the entity.
“It is our hope that Mr. Duworko will bring new energy to the job that is at the core of restarting vigorous media reform initiatives in Liberia,” Coffey said.
He added, “Immediate issues we will like him to start are the constitution of Advisory Council of the LMC as part of the overall review and amendment of the statute of the Media Center and property of the journalism community in Liberia.”
Meanwhile, LMC’s new director said in his acceptance remarks that the media council in West Africa is currently faced with financial and editorial independence challenges on the professionalization and adherence to ethical standards, obsolete media laws, lack of plurality, as well as weaknesses in regulation which allow political manipulation.
“These challenges, my fellow colleagues, are badly disturbing the output of media, specifically here in Liberia,” Duworko said.
He then recommended that to correct these problems, LMC and its partners have to build synergies with local, regional and international organizations to help improve the professional and legal operating environment of the media in Liberia.
“One of our relationships in this regard suffered heavily with local and international organizations during and after the 2017 Legislative and Presidential elections. Today, I am delighted to announce that the Press Union of Liberia will return to the “Deepening Democracy coalition,” he assured his colleagues.
Duworko was among the final four applicants in the vetting process done on Tuesday, March 6. He emerged with the highest points as the successor of the late Lawrence Randall.
LMC comprises the Female Journalists Association (FEJAL), New Narratives (NN), Association of Liberian Community Radios (ALCOR), Department of Mass Communication of the University of Liberia, National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NSCL), Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL) and the PUL, which chairs the body.