Media Advocacy Group to Defend FORUM

By: Lewis Glay


Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted January 11, 2005

A media right free expression advocacy organization – the Media Foundation for West Africa may likely render legal assistance in the case involving FORUM and Hope International President, Melee Kermue.

The international media defense team based in Accra, Ghana, focuses activities on monitoring attacks on the media in West Africa especially when they are being dragged either physically or legally to court for attacking news maker for misdeeds in society.

According to the foundation’s Coordinator for Liberia Mr. Wellington Geevon-Smith, the advocacy group was establishing a branch in the country in order to reinforce the monitoring of attacks on the Liberian media by institutions or individuals who would tend to intimidate journalists for reporting the truths.

Mr. Geevon-Smith made these statements over the weekend when he paid a visit to the offices of The FORUM to ascertain the first-hand account on the so-called lawsuit between the institution and the Hope International president over his alleged involvement in drug trafficking in the United States of America for which he is reportedly wanted for prosecution.
He said the unfolding development was not surprising because when national elections are approaching people who undergo media attacks normally do something to save face.

The Foundation’s coordinator however said, their advocacy is not in any way intended to encourage the media to engage into unethical reportage because the media defense team has interest in media productivity for the decency of society.

The lawsuit against The FORUM newspaper, he said, has already reached the foundation’s desk in Accra, Ghana, and the detail for getting involved in legally assisting the process is most likely expected to be worked out cautiously.

He then urged the Liberian media to remain resolute in using truth as their guiding principle to expose the ills in society. He warned that beating the propaganda drum for people who believe that public funds belong to them will only suffer the rest of society, adding, “be vigilant during this election period.”

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by the Forum newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.