MONROVIA-The Reporter Association of Liberia (RAL) has successfully launched its membership from with a call by media trainer, Raymond Kolubah Zarbah for the committee to carefully register her members with caution. The membership form was launched at the headquarters of the Press Union of Liberia where reporters and invited guest gathered a listed to a well delivered speech by Mr. Raymond Kolubah Zarbay, a media trainer and news coordinator at ECOWAS Radio in Monrovia. In his remarks, the guest speaker cautioned members of the RAL to at all-time conduct themselves with respect for them to be respected.
Mr. Zarbay said, “We urge you today to always undertake this task with integrity, bearing in mind that you benefited from and you need to give back with honesty. Avoid any and all forms of yellow journalism and blackmailing.
Approaching one of Liberia’s outstanding journalist, the guest speaker said, “We want to publicly recognize our Colleague Frank Saiworla, who many of your regard as your mentor. Indeed he is someone to emulate. We have known Frank for many years as a credible person and someone who would prefer to eat his dry bread, walk the streets and uphold the integrity of our profession.”
He went on to challenge reporter to be a Frank Sainworla today in their reportorial duties and as committee on membership recruits, they should make sure all their new recruits will have some resemblance of Frank Sainworla.
“Do not work and expect pay, good works will be recognized slowly, but pay will come bountifully and will leave an indelible print on society like what Frank Sainworla is doing today. We usually call each other Masagee, meaning Chief in Lorma and will always be happy to share bitter kola every time we meet” Mr. Zarbay proudly said of his colleague, Frank.
Additionally, the trained media worker and a trainer launched a passionate plea to members of the Reporters Association of Liberia to please perform with integrity and help to make the Liberian society a better place among the comity of nations. During his deliberations, Mr. Zarbay provided history of the media in general and what is expected of those who practice the profession. The launching program brought together Civil Society Organizations, government officials, reporters and former head of the organization [RAL], Federation of Liberia Youth president.
Press Union president Charles B. Coffey thanked the leadership of RAL for the initiative indicating that their work will be lessen with the help of RAL. According to him, not all the cases are to reach his office as president of RAL.
“Some of these things should be settled by the Reporters Association of Liberia” Mr. Coffey said.
He acknowledged some individuals who carry themselves in the name of being journalist; something he discouraged anyone from doing.
In his remark, Deputy Ministry for Technical Services at the Ministry of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism, Boakia Fofana said President George M. Weah has love for the journalism profession adding that some of what happen between the media and some officials of government are not the makings of the president.
Boakia proxy for Information Minister, Legderhood Julius Rennie added that the Liberian leader, too, is a media owner stressing that those institutions were in existence before he became president of Liberia.
He said the profession is a noble one and people she respect them for the work they do.
“There are some bad apples and those bad apples need to be pull out” he said.
In her special statement, RAL president, Cecelia G. Clarke said the launching of the membership drive was in fulfillment of a provision in the Constitution of the Reporters Association which speaks to membership.
Quoting Article Section 1 of the constitution, Mrs. Clarke said “Membership shall be open to all journalists in the followings categories: Full Membership, Affiliate membership and honorary membership”
She told the gathering that it is important in any organization to have a proper listing of their membership.
“With that, you get to know who your members are and who are affiliating with you and to also have a checking system on members to ensure that those who are not conducting themselves well are captured. Like the committee chairperson said they have developed the new forms, ID card sample for the organization. The forms are now on sale for a reasonable price and let me say today that once you purchase your form and the committee does its work, an identification card will be provided to those who will meet the requirements.” She said, when they took over the leadership of RAL, they had to start everything from the beginning.
“We started the renovation of our office given to us by our mother body, the PUL, we started making plans to visit the interior of Liberia to have talks with Reporters there, and we also made plans to have regular training for reporters” she said.
According to her, sadly, COVID-19 came in and spoiled the plans they had by notwithstanding, they managed to write few proposals to reputable institutions seeking for training opportunities for Reporters