THE SURVIVAL of the media to a large extent depends on advertisement. This is especially so in an era where the internet has revolutionized the free flow of information.
SPECIFICALLY, in our Liberian Society, the transaction between businesses and the media tends to benefit both the media and the advertising community.
RECENTLY, IT has come to the attention of the New Republic Newspaper and other news outlets that the Executive Mansion Website which is the official webpage of the Government of Liberia (GOL), has been widely and mostly used by companies and other private organizations or institutions to do advertisements.
WE BELIEVE THIS ACT undermines the economic gains of the media in Liberia since advertisement serves as a major source of income for the daily operations and transactions of the media.
NEW REPUBLIC NEWSPAPER believes that if government continues to do advertisements for companies and private organizations, whether free or paid for, it will sway away the attention and focus of investors from advertising and this rubs us of the opportunities to have access to revenues from the advertising community or sector as a whole.
Remember, the independence of the media in any given society depends on self-sustainability and this can only be actualized or realized in the face of revenue generation from both the public and private sectors through legal transactions or advertisements.
TAKING AWAY THE private sector comprising companies, organizations, NGOs and other investors’ advertisement will not only hurt the Liberian media, but also deprive the country of a viable fourth estate.
THE PRIVATE SECTOR, like the Public Sector has annual budget for media coverage and publicity which the media must tap into on a fair competitive business transaction in Liberia.
SELF-SUSTAINABILITY OF THE media enhances its independence, timely and factual reporting of activities of central government, and helps to maintain a balance in professional journalism.
THE CURRENT SITUATION PREVENTS the news media from effectively fulfilling their normative role in society. It also perpetuates the erosion of professionalism in the work of journalists and editorial independence of many newspapers which are often unable to resist the influence of institutions which want to manipulate the media.
IF WE MUST survive, the Executive Mansion must stop advertising for companies and institutions which have budget for media and publicity but are now shying away from going to the Liberian media to advertise because the Executive Mansion website has become a serious competitor of the media.
WE BELIEVE that such move does not help the media. Except that this government which championed press freedom and economic empowerment wants to deviate from its campaign promises. Where in the world you have seen an official government site use as a platform for private entities to advertise? Are you trying to say that this government is cash-trapped to a point that it is receiving money from these entities? If yes or no, we say, it must stop and must stop now.