“You Are the Real Heroes” …Says INQUIRER Former Boss
By: Charles Crawford
Posted April 27, 2004
“You all are real heroes! Words are inadequate for me to express to all of you for the sacrifices, commitment, dedication and hard work you have rendered and are still rendering this institution. Your commitment to duty has made the paper to be the leading newspaper in Liberia. I’m very proud of you!” Were the words of extolment to the employees of The INQUIRER by their former Managing Editor Gabriel H. I Williams.
Addressing employees at the institution’s offices on Gurley Street during a formal welcoming ceremony held in his honor, Mr. Williams said it was a great pride for him to see The INQUIRER Newspaper still surviving as a leading media institution in the country amidst the wars, difficulties and threats from enemies of press freedom.
The INQUIRER’s former boss who reflected on the days of the founding of the paper in the early ‘90s, paid homage to the late T-Max Teah and others through whose sweat and sacrifice, the paper is what it is today, adding “what is happening today at The INQUIRER is what the late T-Max Teah and the rest of us envisaged years back when we were establishing this institution; The INQUIRER was founded to serve as a voice for the voiceless, hope for the hopeless, and to speak and expose the ills of society. Today we are proud to say what we envisaged yesterday is today reaping fruits.”
Mr. Williams expressed optimism that out of the ashes of violence in Liberia, he foresees a brighter future for the institution. “I see a brighter future for The INQUIRER. I see this institution expanding from this present stage to a bigger one.”
He said to see an expanded INQUIRER, it will take vision, focus and tolerance, noting that such was not an easy task as the employees must now begin to cultivate those good principles that will lead the paper to a higher height.
The former INQUIRER boss lauded the institution’s present management team, headed by Mr. Philip N. Wesseh, for the continued existence of the paper on the Liberian newsstand despite the financial constraints facing media houses in the country, attributing same to “good management”, adding “continue to be committed to The INQUIRER because the institution is more important than you the individual. Ten years from now, you will be gone but the institution will be around and your name will be attached to it.”
Mr. Williams promised to woo assistance for the paper upon his return abroad for the smooth operation of the paper, while admonishing the employees to hold together and put the interest of the institution above personal interest.
Earlier, The INQUIRER’s Managing Editor, Philip N. Wesseh welcomed Mr. Williams to the offices of the paper and informed him about the institution’s achievements over the past years, saying the institution like any other media institution in the country, was going through strenuous and difficult times.
Mr. Wesseh told his former boss that despite the problems at The INQUIRER, the paper still remained the leading and most widely read newspaper in the country. “We continue to be the No-One newspaper in the country because of our employees. They are a committed and hardworking people.”
He averred that the standard and policy set by the Gabriel Williams administration still remain the same today, noting “the foundation you laid down here yesterday when you were head of this institution, is what we are still riding on; receiving awards and honors in the field of journalism”. Mr. Wesseh later congratulated Mr. Williams for publishing a major research book entitled: “LIBERIA - The Heart of Darkness” while in the United States, “we are proud of your achievement. Your book will serve as a resource material not only to newspapers but other institutions and individuals who will want to write about the war in Liberia.
Meanwhile, Mr. Williams is expected to launch his book this morning at the Ministry of Information. The Minister of Information, Dr. C. William Allen is expected to serve as Chief Launcher.
The book contains 450 pages with three chapters focusing on the Liberian media. Mr. Williams later presented one of the books to The INQUIRER for its library.