Journalists endorse self-regulation handbook – Liberia news The New Dawn Liberia, premier resource for breaking news

At the PAL Publishers Forum

Liberian journalists from Bomi, Grand Capemount, Rivercess and Grand Bassa on Friday, September 16, 2022 unanimously endorsed a proposed self-regulatory handbook on privacy and personal data protection for use by Liberian media.

Developed by a team of lawyers engaged by the Liberia Publishers Association and the Liberian Press Union in partnership with Liberian Media Initiatives with support from the European Union, the document aimed to enhance media professionalism and the quality of the dissemination of information while seeking to meet the challenges generated by online information campaigns.

The exam was the first since the development of the manual. It follows a series of editor forums organized by PAL since July 23, 2021, soliciting the opinion of journalists on the subject and the need for a self-regulatory manual.

Session attendees

PAL, with the support of the Liberia Media Initiative, co-funded by the European Union, organized a series of editors’ forums to examine ethical practices within the Liberian media, particularly with regard to the confidentiality of personal data, and increase awareness of data privacy among editors and senior media executives.

Each of these forums brought together around thirty participants. In summary, PAL and PUL collaborated to hire a team of lawyers to draft two documents: media self-regulation and personal data privacy protection legislation.

The aims and objectives of these documents are consistent with PAL objectives and are aligned with those of the Internews programs to strengthen freedom of expression and information, enhance media professionalism and quality of information dissemination while addressing the challenges generated by online disinformation campaigns.

In addition, it is planned to establish a program that would lead to advocacy for the government to adopt specific legislation that will address data privacy protection and advocate for the media industry to adopt data privacy regulations. personal data.

The forum held in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County, brought together newsroom stakeholders from four counties to first discuss the document that should be released to newsrooms for use by journalists in the absence of autonomous legislation and offer suggestions.

Welcoming the Association and other journalists at Buchanan City Hall, Mayor’s Agent for the Town of Buchanan, Moses D. Hayes, expressed the importance of participating in privacy and privacy discussions. data in general.

PAL President Othello Garblah explained that the purpose of the document under review was aligned with the Association’s objectives as well as the Internews program to strengthen freedom of expression and information.

He said the document aims to enhance media professionalism and the dissemination of quality information while seeking to address the challenges generated by online information campaigns.

Garblah said it is hoped the discussion will set the agenda which could lead to advocacy for the government to pass specific legislation which will address data privacy protection and also advocate for the media industry. on the adoption of legislation on the confidentiality of personal data.

PAL is a representation of newspaper owners, managers and publishers.

In 2021, the Association received a sub-grant to initiate a discussion on personal data protection with the aim of developing the first media self-regulation for Liberia.

Meanwhile, the review of the documents was led by Atty Lamin Kpargoi and it is expected to be validated at the Liberia Press Union Anniversary in Ganta, Nimba County, by the end of the month. month.

About Irene J. O'Donnell

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