Thursday, April 19, 2007

Taylor Trial: Liberian Media Failing the Public

A lawmaker with close ties to Charles Taylor appears to have paid this newspaper and this newspaper to write stories that will muddy the waters around the witnesses in the upcoming Taylor trial. He says there's a prosecution conspiracy to kidnap witnesses to testify against Taylor. Both stories are full of amateurish statements such as "many are of the belief", and "we have learnt reliably from very credible sources". Yeah.

On their face, the allegations strike me as extremely far-fetched, and it's telling that both of these nearly identical stories are based entirely on the testimony of one person. Why would the prosecution need to kidnap anyone? Taylor is an international pariah with tens of thousands of (alleged) victims. The Liberian media can and should do better than this.

Here's a related story from the AP, on the issue of protecting the witnesses.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know why people keep referring to individuals writing such stories as "journalists". Those individuals are "media practitioners" who do not have the slightest clue about what journalism is.

Anything can be published in Liberia for five dollars. This must tell you a lot about the Press Union of Liberia. I should even add that professional journalists still in Liberia do not even associate with that group.

The guy who held the press conference was a member of Taylor's NPFL. You would think, at a minimum, that would have been mentioned in the story so that readers would understand his motives.

10:17 PM  

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