31.03.2008 -

Liberia Media Center releases Review of Media Coverage of the Truth and Reconciliation Process in Liberia

The Liberia Media Center (LMC) has just released a report with preliminary findings on the media coverage of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) public hearings in Liberia.

In the framework of a UNESCO-supported project aimed at fostering self-regulation and professional best-practices among Liberian journalists, the Review of Media Coverage of the Truth and Reconciliation Process in Liberia concluded that "generally speaking the media succeeded in keeping within terms of the TRC Code of Conduct for Journalists".

The Center observed that "most of the language used in the various reports reflected the recommended language of the TRC". LMC however encouraged print media to clearly distinguish news from opinions, as well as to provide multiple perspectives to their reports.

The Review observed that some of the reports from both print and broadcast media had sometimes violated Articles 23 of the Press Union of Liberia Code of Conduct, stating that "Journalists should not publish or broadcast any report or write-up affecting the reputation of an individual or an organization without a chance to reply. That is unfair and should be avoided." The Center also noted that sometimes investigative reporters' work was "facilitated by the TRC", and therefore reminded the Commission that "investigative reporting should be demand driven and supported by media institutions themselves so as not to compromise the integrity of their investigation".

The project, implemented with support of UNESCO and the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), is aimed at harnessing the role of professional and independent media for peace and reconciliation in Liberia.

The Liberia Media Center was established in October 2004. It was created with the support of the "Partnership for Media and Conflict Prevention in West Africa", to provide basic resources for journalists.

The report in PDF format can be downloaded <a target="_blank" href="ev.php?URL_ID=26332&amp;URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&amp;URL_SECTION=201">here.</a>

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