MONROVIA-A new technology to help track attacks against Liberian journalists has been launched.
The application was launched Wednesday, February 2, 2022, at the Headquarters of the Press Union of Liberia.
The initiative’ Crime Reporting App’ is the effort of the Press Union of Liberia and its partners, VOSHEDA and the University of Liberia (UL) which is intended to be used to report crimes or attacks against members of the fourth estate during the discharge of their reportorial duties.
Launching the new Technology in Monrovia, the President of the Press Union of Liberia, Charles Coffey encouraged his members to make maximum use of the application for the betterment of the field of journalism.
Mr. Coffey said before the launch of the app when journalists were attacked, it took them a long time to analyze before taking the necessary action(s) but with the new application, it is a clear manifestation that it will help fast track the process.
He intoned that the new application, it will help them easily track complaints from their members.
He said they as journalists are going to use the technology to ensure that they adequately seek their welfare, especially the protection members of PUL.
Mr. Coffey at the same time urged his members to make sure that they provide information with facts.
“Fast track information involving your colleagues especially when they are attacked and by that, we will have pieces of real-time evidence to pursue the matter”, the PUL boss said.
According to him, when the conveyer belt of information (journalists) is attacked, it also affects the larger society because they will not be in the right frame of mind to further convey messages including information to the general population.
He noted that the safety of journalists is very important and their rights should be respected and protected by duty bearers.
The launching program was attended by media executives and reporters from various media outlets in Liberia.
Jonathan Paylaleh, BBC’s correspondent to Liberia commended the PUL for what he called a ‘historic event.’
The BBC Correspondent called on reporters not to use the new application to violate the rights of others, but ensure that they use it to help guide themselves in the discharge of their duties.
Paylaleh challenged officials at the PUL not to use the app just to track multiple attacks but to work on pursuing them and ensure those would-be perpetrators are brought to face the law.
Also making remarks, Global News Network boss, Cholo Brooks reminded reporters to be objective at all times in exercising their professional duty.
He said, “Do your professional best as always because the world is watching us”, he added.
Mark Neywon Mengonfia Secretary-General of the Reporters Association of Liberia (RAL) described the launch of the crime reporting app for Liberian journalists as timely ahead of the General election.
Mengonfia said while it is true that Liberian journalists will benefit from the app, it was equally important for journalists to not use it as a means to cross their red lines when they are told by security.
The Reporters Association SG then encouraged his colleagues to be very professional and careful when executing their reportorial duties, especially during these critical times.
He at the same time called on the Liberian government to make public the Lawrence Bropleh committee.
“I want to use this medium to call on the President to make the Bropleh recommendations from the Bropleh committee’s report which will serve as a good start going forward”, Mr. Mengonfia stressed.
Touch Technology Group is a group led by young people and was contracted by the PUL to build the application.
The Crime Reporting App after the official launch was sent to journalists who attended the program using xender on grounds that it has not appeared on the play store.
He informed the body that within 24 hours the application is going to be available on the play store to enable anyone to have access to it.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of Touch Technology Group, Nimpson Flomo, the App is effective, and once installed on a phone or computer including other electronic gadgets, it can automatically broadcast to others who are in the network especially when a crime is reported by a journalist.