This statement was originally published on cemespliberia.org on 25 September 2019.
The Center for Media Studies and Peace building condemns a series of verbal attacks on journalists providing media coverage to the office of the President of Liberia.
Deputy Presidential Press Secretary Smith Toby, who is on record for having made the derogatory slur to refer to female journalists assigned at the Executive mansion, the seat of the Presidency, as “lazy” and “unserious”.
His provocation is a result of the Executive mansion Press Corps decision to recommend journalist Denise Nimpson to form part of a delegation traveling with President George Manneh Weah to the United Nations General Assembly, scheduled to take place in New York.
Toby is quoted in the Executive Mansion Corps Press release as saying: “Lazy set of people who do not take their work seriously, and I wouldn’t want any of them taken to the United States just to be taking [a] selfie”.
He further referred to the Corps as “Opposition journalists”.
His verbal attacks against journalist Nimpson finally led to her rejection from the trip.
In another development, the Press Corps has raised alarm over the harassment of two of its members by the Director General of the General Services Agency (GSA), Madam Mary Broh, prior to the arrival of President Weah at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town on Monday, to grace the Extraordinary Session convened by the ECOWAS Parliament.
The Corps says, the Executive Protection Service (EPS) officers denied its members entry into the conference hall upon orders from Madam Broh who cited the late arrival of the journalists.
CEMESP and the EM Press Corps described the unwarranted outburst by Toby and Broh as an unjustified abuse of power. Many say this outburst undermines the Kamara Abdullai Kamara Act on Freedom of the Press and is not in step with President Weah’s pronouncement as being the ‘Feminist-in-Chief’.
The Executive Mansion Press Corps is made up of journalists from diverse media institutions accredited to provide coverage to the Liberian President.
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Source: MEDIA FEED