Press Union of Liberia President, Abdullai Kamara
PUL condemns Public Agenda’s lesbian article
By Richard Dixon
MONROVIA, March 11 (LINA) - The umbrella journalists group, Press Union of Liberia (PUL), has condemned the Public Agenda newspaper for its Monday, March 10, edition in which it published a story about a group of prominent Liberian women, accusing them of lesbianism.
The PUL made the condemnation Tuesday, in response to the article in its front page lead story under the banner headline: “Who are the Lesbians in Gov’t?” which featured the pictures of several women leaders.
PUL President, Abdullai Kamara, told the Editor-In-Chief of the paper, J. Dominic Farley, at a hearing Tuesday, that the publication is in violation of the PUL Code of Ethics and Conduct and various aspects of media ethics.
Kamara said the article was written especially in bad taste, as it also violates the women's privacy, exposes those named in the story to hate and incitement from the public.
He said journalism is about protecting and respecting the rights of all, and should not consider any action that will bring people into disrepute, invade their privacy or cast aspersion on them.
Among other things, Mr. Kamara said the article is also impregnated with unproven allegations on those women, with no efforts made whatsoever to contact them about the issues reported in the article.
“As a result of this blatant show of unprofessionalism, the PUL has ordered the Public Agenda Newspaper to apologize to the offended women and its reading populace, as a means of showing remorse,” a statement from the PUL said.
Meanwhile, the PUL and the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL) will on Thursday March 13, open a book of condolence in memory of Sports Journalist Ena Harmon at the PUL headquarters.
In a statement issued today, the PUL and SWAL said the book is meant to recognize the courage of Journalist Harmon, in entering a field that was previously male- dominated.
Ms. Harmon died March 2, 2014 in Freetown, Sierra Leone, where she ran the One Girl Foundation, a local NGO.
She previously served as media officer of the Liberia National Olympic Committee (LNOC) under Borbor Gaye and Clemenceau B. Urey, and also worked for the former Liberia Track and Field Federation (LTFF), now Liberia Athletic Federation (LAF) under Atty. Hector Hilton.
Ena covered the Sydney 2000 Olympics in Australia and the World Athletics Championship in Edmonton, Canada as a sport journalist.