March 25, 2023

EMPC call PPS Office to order

The Executive Mansion Press Corps an auxiliary of the Press Union of Liberia, a conglomeration of reporters assigned at the Executive Mansion, and a body that provides media coverage for the President today called on the press office to seek the welfare of the group.

According to them, the press office has refused to rotate reporters for assignments but is in the habit of using one set of reporters over 20 reporters. The assigned reporters complained that the cry for an assigned vehicle has not been met. It is recorded that in 2019 the only vehicle assigned to the reported was involved in an accident, which got damaged beyond repair, till date; there has not been an official vehicle for the group.

There have been rental vehicles on numerous occasions from the press office for reporters to cover the president’s programs. It is unfortunate to note that most often; some of these vehicles are not in good condition causing fear and panic to reporters and delay in assignments.        

“It is sad to note that since the accident of our colleagues three years ago, involving the President’s motorcade, the only vehicle inherited from the past administration was destroyed without replacement. It will sadden you to note that reporters were risked in dysfunctional vehicles during the county tour in 2021. Some of which had brick problems, and tire punchers on the road, least to talk about several mechanical faults putting journalists at risk”.

The group also complained about traveling with the president on foreign trips. According to them, they have not really been empowered as assigned reporters. They call on the Presidential Press Secretary Office to encourage other journalists who are forming a subset group at the Executive Mansion and are not accredited to seek authorization and join the only constituted body, EMPC. The assigned reporters called on the Press Union of Liberia, that there is a particular set of journalists who have decided to create tension by calling themselves Independent Journalists with the sole purpose to favor top government officials.

The group however called for the weekly press briefing to resume, noting it was a good initiative started by the bureau. The EMPC appeals to the office of the President to secure a space as a sub-office where assigned reporters can on a daily basis converge to provide adequate coverage for the Presidency.

They reaffirmed their commitment to continue reporting and engagements with the office of the President through the Presidential Press Secretary’s office on issues that border on the well-being of journalists assigned at the Executive Mansion.

Meanwhile, Deputy Presidential Press Secretary Smith Toby responded to the EMPC hours after their press conference. According to him, the issues highlighted in the press statement are no different from issues he and his office have discussed with the leadership of the group. He said his office is making all efforts to solve the problem and pleaded with reporters to be patients. He committed his office working relationship with EMPC.   

Deputy Presidential Press Secretary Smith Toby

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