Journalism at a Crossroads in Liberia

Williams, Gabriel I. H.
September 2004
Nieman Reports;Fall2004, Vol. 58 Issue 3, p31
This article relates the author's experiences from a trip back to Liberia early in 2004 and the difficult circumstances Liberian journalists face despite regaining their freedom after a civil war. Following 14 years of devastating war and brutal dictatorship, the media in the West African state of Liberia, like the rest of the country, has begun the tedious process of recovery. Since the dictatorial regime of Charles Taylor fell from power in August 2003, Liberian journalists have been enjoying a level of freedom inconceivable under the rule of the rebel leader turned-president of Liberia. There is a multiplicity of independent news outlets. According to an official of the Ministry of Information, the primary agency responsible for media affairs, this spring there were 32 radio stations, 31 newspapers, and three television stations. The list has been expanding since then. A notable aspect of this new era is that the media, like the general public, have been free to openly criticize public officials, including the interim head of state of the power-sharing transitional government, without retribution. Before the war, the independent Liberian media was regarded to be one of the most vibrant in West Africa. As Liberia prepares for presidential and general elections in October 2005, efforts must begin now to enable journalists to report and publish news of these changes in Liberia so people will better appreciate the fragile gift of democracy.


Related Articles

  • Liberia Still On The Edge.  // Emerging Markets Monitor;8/18/2003, Vol. 9 Issue 19, p18 

    Discusses the implications of the departure of Liberian President Charles Taylor from office for the national economy. Violent actions taken by rebel groups from the Movement for Democracy and Elections in Liberia (MODEL); Role of the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy in forcing...

  • Taylor-made future looms over Liberia. Means, C. Paul // Insight on the News;08/25/97, Vol. 13 Issue 31, p21 

    Focuses on Charles Taylor, President of Liberia. Views on Taylor from persons living in Liberia; Percentage of votes won by Taylor in July 19, 1997 elections; Details on Taylor's campaign; Information on democratic opposition Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. INSET: Memories of Liberia's recent past, by...

  • Liberian president Taylor pledges reconciliation as his priority. Ejme, Paul // New York Amsterdam News;08/21/97, Vol. 88 Issue 34, p2 

    States that the president of Liberia, Charles Taylor has pledged to make national reconciliation his main priority in the post-war administration of his country. Statements made by Taylor at his inauguration.

  • Charles Ghanky Taylor installed as Liberia's new president. Browne, J. Zamgba // New York Amsterdam News;08/07/97, Vol. 88 Issue 32, p2 

    Reports that Charles Ghanky Taylor was installed as the president of Liberia. Details of Taylors's inauguration address; Who Taylor has appointed as the transport minister; Background information on Taylor.

  • Leader Biography/Photograph.  // Liberia Country Review;2001/2002, p23 

    Profiles Liberian President Charles Taylor. Personal background; Academic achievements; Career highlights.

  • Pat Robertson Partner Charles Taylor Funded Al-Qaeda, Report Says.  // Church & State;Feb2003, Vol. 56 Issue 2, p14 

    Reports on the connection between the al-Qaeda terrorists and Liberian President Charles Taylor, business partner of preacher Pat Robertson. Presence of al-Qaeda operatives in the country; Recipient of a payoff for harboring the terrorists; Sources of funds for terrorist activities.

  • LIBERIA.  // African Times;8/1/2010, Vol. 23 Issue 15, p1 

    The article reports that a witness in a war crimes trial has been accused of lying by the lawyer of former Liberian President Charles Taylor.

  • The devil they know. Anderson, Jon Lee // New Yorker;07/27/98, Vol. 74 Issue 21, p34 

    Presents information on Liberian President Charles Taylor. Horrible acts of cruelty Taylor has been accused of comitting; Educational achievements of Taylor; When Taylor was elected as president; Why Liberians elected Taylor; Taylor's relationship with United States President Bill Clinton;...

  • Birthday and bride for Taylor.  // Jet;2/17/97, Vol. 91 Issue 13, p35 

    Presents a photograph of Charles Taylor, leader of the national patriotic frontline of Liberia, and Jewel Howard at their wedding at Saint John's United Methodist Church in Gbarnga, Liberia. Background on their relationship; Information on guests at the ceremony.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics