The Informer Versus the Protector, The Case of Journalists & State Security Personnel ,Is It The Battle For Public Supremacy/Professionalism?

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It appears like collaboration and smooth working relationship between Journalists and State Security officers mainly Police after series of conferences looked cosmetic.

Over the period reporters covering major functions normally suffer police brutality, intimidation, assault and many others.

Though there have been scores of security and media dialogues aimed at having cordial media and security collaborations to help address the situation, it appears like the old age issue continue to persist as journalists in some instances are the most victims.

The debate for supremacy over who directly supersedes control of the public in terms of both information dissemination and security protection is still far fetch.

Realistically, the both have a crucial public role to play in society as one serves as the informer while the other is the protector.

On a general note the media looks for information to adequately provide the public including the activities and operations of state security officers while the police provide security for everyone including media practitioners.

However, the sticky issue in most cases is the fact that none of the two at a central point recognizes the role and importance of each other as battle for information versus battle to provide security protection becomes a terrible issue with the media always seen at the disadvantage end.

On Thursday at the Samuel Kanyan Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville City another Media security situation occurred when an accredited award winning Press Union of Liberia Sports Journalist Christopher Walker fell prey to another security brutality.

Christopher Walker as a sports journalist taking strategic photos on the perimeters of the field of which he was given all access pass due to his scope of work allegedly got into a misunderstanding with police officers who wanted him out of the perimeters though he had all reasons to be there evidence of the all access pass delivered to him by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

He is also one of the official sports journalists that was assigned at one of the four venues, Harper City, Maryland County to cover the preliminary stages of the National County Sports Meet but unfortunately for him he was heavily attacked and beaten by police officers after their allege instructions to have him leave the perimeters of the pitch failed.

Currently the FrontPage Africa Reporter is nursing injury as a result of the pains and wounds he sustained during the police and journalist scuffle.

According to other sources, the police action came after they got overwhelmed by unauthorized people as well as other fans who invaded the pitch as beating was the order of the day though he Christopher Walker, dressed in his Front Page Africa jacket along with his official access pass, meaning he was fully  identified as a legal and accredited person to be allowed on the pitch to do his work, the police officers were perhaps acting under straight mandate with no room for a compromise and ignore him there-by inflicting wounds on him.

The situation despite some intervention from heads of the Press Union of Liberia as well as the National Police is still yet to be address.

it can be recalled In early 2018 the Vice President of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia Moses Garzeawu at the same SKD  venue was again assaulted by officers of the President as and also the president of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia Roland Mulbah also sustained wounds on the head by police at the ATS as only condemnation was the order of the day.

According to observers’ reporter Christopher Walker was single-handedly beaten while other unauthorized people on the perimeters were seen watching the episode.

In most instances according to reports the police and other state security individuals misused their function and overlooked the role of the media due to their security supremacy.

The situation which has been overly condemned across the Country now leaves fear among reporters including journalists from across the Country on providing coverage of the State of the Nation Address on Monday.

Meanwhile investigation on the issue is said to be ongoing in the midst of that Journalist Walker is now nursing his multiple injuries inflicted on him by the police and other multiple security officers as the media has so far described the Christopher’s situation as an attack to the entire media landscape of the Country.

 

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