By: Nathaniel Success Tokpah
Nimba County- Veteran BBC Correspondent in Liberia, Jonathan Paye-Layleh, is challenging Journalists and media practitioners in Liberia to maintain their ethics as they discharge their duties.
Journalist Paye-Layleh said upholding ethical standards will improve citizen’s trust in the media and help to critically scrutinize the society without compromising.
He also admitted that the media is faced with several challenges ranging from properly trained journalists, financial constraints, ownership of the media, and low salaries for journalists amongst others.
Speaking to a group of citizens and community journalists in Ganta Nimba County, Sunday, July 26, 2020, the veteran journalist said, he has realized that ethics does not survive in poverty something he believes is causing a lot of journalists to compromised the profession in Liberia which is not an excuse.
Another thing breaking the media according to the BBC journalist, is that new recruits (Journalists) who are not properly screened by the various media entities in Liberia and the lack of restrictions on who owns or runs a media outlet.
However, Mr. Paye-Layleh has called on journalists and those aspiring to pursue this as their career to uphold their integrity and put Liberia first.
“For example, if a politician takes reporters to cover his program, he pays for their transportation, feeding and even lodging, after doing all this, the reporters wouldn’t balance their stories when publishing it,” Jonathan said
Amid these challenges. Paye-Layleh is still pleading with Journalists to constantly stand up and discharge their duties in a more professional and ethical manner.
The award-winning radio personality is recommending that news outlets across the country must form a merger so that there can be a more vibrant and strong media in Liberia.
At the same time, Mr. Paye-Layleh has beseeched media institutions across the country to find lucrative and considerate compensation and or salaries for their staffers in order to enable them to display their role in a more ethical manner.
“We use our various media institutions to make people who in the end let us down and turn their backs on us. But we must continue our sacrifice to the community.” Paye-Layleh stated.