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Liberian Media Houses Get Big Payoff From Ruling Party for President Sirleaf Election Propaganda

What had all along been speculated and commented on by Liberians, local and international institutions that the Liberian press converted itself into a public relation and propaganda machine for the Unity Party and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf   re-election  during the elections in Liberia, has gotten a human face and no more a mere speculation.

L-R: Peter Quaqua, PUL Prexy

The Managing Editor of the Heritage Newspaper, Mr. Mohammed Kanneh in a boastful spirit told a public gathering while in conversation in Monrovia that he had just returned from Accra, Ghana along with other media institutions where each media  institution received US$100,000.00 (one hundred thousand United States dollars)  from the Unity Party for  final payment as payoff  for  the propaganda they carried out  for President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s re-election, the party’s Standard Bearer during the October and November elections.

Mr. Kanneh revelation  came  when he found himself in the midst of a gathering of ordinary Liberians  discussing how the media had turned itself  into  propaganda stooges for the ruling Unity Party and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, compromising their role as a watchdog for society and the fourth estate which is under obligation to maintain their independence and not fuel biases.

Responding to the  gathering concerns  about the prevailing atmosphere  and the future of the country, the Heritage Newspaper Managing Editor said, ” If you think  somebody gives me  US$100,000.00 (one hundred thousand United States dollars), should  I  refuse it’?  I will take, if politicians or political party want the Presidency and do not have money, it is not my business but will accept money from a party or candidate for propaganda”, Mr. Kanneh told the gathering who became offended by his utterances.  

Among the leading Liberian media  institutions that were in Ghana to get their payoff include; Rodney Sieh and the FrontpageAfrica Newspaper, Phillip Wesseh and The Inquirer, Kenneth Best and the Liberian Observer, Tom Kamara and the New Democrat, The New Dawn, The News Newspaper among other newspapers, television, and radio stations.

Liberia media institutions have come under sharp criticism  for their bias reporting and propaganda in favor of the Unity Party and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf against the opposition such that the Carter Center and other international institutions have registered their frustration about the  Liberian media’s bad reporting and propaganda posture during the elections.

 The Press Union of Liberia’s President Peter Quaqua also expressed frustration over the bad journalism media institutions have ventured into, fueling tension and  partisan wranglings. The Press Union President told his fellow journalists during a one day pre-run-off media conference to refrained  from employing bad journalism and remain the watchdog of society the fourth estate is   all about.

Four media institutions which refused to be a part of the Unity Party’s media sellout scheme were shutdown by government on November 7 for airing and streaming the violence  perpetrated against the opposition CDC Party by police, a clash in which partisans threw stones  and police fired live bullets into unarmed partisans, killing several partisans and many injured in the riot. A Judge later ordered  the re-opening of those media institutions and are since back on the air

Police clashed with the opposition CDC party  November 7 when the party staged an election boycott rally at its headquarters to protest the run-off election which the party was boycotting for what it considered a fraud process which needed reform for the transparency of the election.


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Categorised in: NEWS, SPORTS

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