UPPER DARBY (USA), June 16 (LINA) -The President of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), Abdullai Kamara, has said that his administration will be inclusive of all journalists working in Liberia and those in the Americas for the growth of the Union.
He pointed out that since he began practicing as a journalist 20 years ago, the Union's membership has remained stagnant around 200.
Speaking recently during a teleconference with Liberian journalists in the United States, Mr. Kamara said he would need all “hands on deck” as a way of moving forward the Union that has been in existence for almost 50 years.
Mr. Kamara is in the United States on a two-week study tour at Tuft University in Boston, Massachusetts, according to the Liberia News Agency.
He spoke of plans to celebrate the Union's 50th anniversary in September this year, and informed former PUL Presidents Abraham Massaley and Rev. Suah Deddeh that they have been included on the Anniversary Committee as members.
He said the anniversary will assess the Union's progress over the years, and chart a new course given the new challenges in news gathering and freedom of the press.
Mr. Kamara also informed the journalists about his administration's efforts to solicit both domestic and international training opportunities for local journalists to improve their reportorial skills.
In response, Messrs Massaley, Deddeh and Moses Sandy (former Editor-in-Chief at the Liberia Broadcasting System) expressed concern over the disappearance of the US$100,000 donation from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf toward the construction of the PUL headquarters.
Kamara said all efforts were being exerted to resolve the issue of the money before the Union's anniversary celebration in September, noting that he understands that the Union's credibility will remain questionable if the appropriate measures were not taken to recover the money.
Speaking further, Messrs Massaley and Deddeh pledged their unwavering support to the growth of the Union and said they would be happy to serve on the anniversary committee.
Both men stressed the importance of resolving the mysterious circumstances surrounding the gift from President Sirleaf and pointed out that if it remains unresolved, it could continue to taint the reputation of all journalists as “watch dogs” of society.