The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) has termed the recent admission by Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon as a triumph for objective and independent journalism in Liberia. The opposition lawmaker initially lied when he claimed to have flown economy class from Ghana to the United States during a recent trip only for local media publication to reveal that he flew business class.
ALJA said in a society where journalists are often treated as cannon fodders and subjected to ridicule and character assassination by politicians and their supporters, while engaged in their reportorial duties, the independent Front Page Africa (FPA) newspaper’s recent publication about the Senator’s falsehood signals that Liberian journalists can continue to be proud of the important role they continue to play in the country.
ALJA commended the paper and its editorial staff for their persistence in unearthing the Senator’s lies; and ensuring that he is held accountable by his supporters and the Liberian electorates.
ALJA maintains the exposure has once again elevated the paper’s professional profile; and has further proven why it remains Liberia’s preeminent investigative newspaper.
The Association says while Front Page Africa and the Liberian media will not always be accurate, they must remain robust, neutral, and honest in seeking the truth in their coverage of news events in Liberia irrespective of the many challenges journalists and media institutions in the country contend with regularly.
ALJA lauded the Liberian media for remaining steadfast in unearthing societal ills in the country.
The Association asserted that after days of denial following allegations that he flew business class from Ghana to the US for a recent private trip, Senator Dillion on Tuesday, July 13, publicly admitted that he lied and apologized to Liberians for his dishonesty.
The Senator confessed live on the Spoon Talk Show program, that he deliberately misrepresented the truth, because he was reportedly sensitive to the ongoing hardship and difficulties facing Liberians in the wake of the deadly Corona virus crisis in the country.
ALJA says the fallout over Senator Dillion’s admission is a cautionary tale that leaders who sacrifice their integrity also risk losing their most precious tool.
Meanwhile, the Association says while it unequivocally condemns the Montserrado County Senator for his recent act of dishonesty, it welcomes his apology and his public expression of remorse for the shame and embarrassment he caused his supporters and the people of Liberia.
The Association called on Liberians to demand from other politicians and government officials the same accountability and transparency as they are now doing to Senator Dillon.
ALJA says the tendency of many Liberians to engage in selective outrage, criticizing those they oppose for wrongdoing while defending those they support who conduct themselves similarly, is doing great harm to the country.
The US-based diaspora organization says Liberia’s social, political, and economic transformation require leaders with upright character and moral integrity, who are willing to lead by example.
ALJA is a conglomeration of current and retired Liberian journalists residing in the Americas. It is a 501c (3) non-profit organization.
The Association was founded in 1998 with the objectives of fostering companionship amongst its members and their American counterparts.
Additionally, the Association is committed to advancing press freedom through media capacity building and the fostering of good governance in Liberia through media advocacy.