‘Handicapped’ Liberian Media regulatory body pressured to tame ethically veering members


In recent times, over one year now, the Headquarters of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), currently located on Clay Street, Monrovia, has lost its ‘Mecca’ status (large pool of members per day), except during elections of an auxiliary body such as the Sports Writers Association of Liberia, or during celebration of World Press Freedom Day when members gather in huge numbers, waiting to depart for the celebration in one of Liberia’s 15 Counties.

The 2020 celebration was in Bomi County.

An official of the PUL leadership disclosed to radioinfo.africa at the Union that majority of the Union’s members are not paying their monthly Due.

When we remind them to settle their Due, the reply that comes forth is ‘I don’t have money now’, or ‘when my employer pay my months’ salaries, I will clear off my debt with the office. Regular payment of your Due will empower the Union’s leadership to defend you against attack by State security person or another person jeopardizing your life,” added the official, speaking on condition anonymity to prevent backlash from his comments.

By its Article of Incorporation, the Press Union of Liberia falls under the not-for-profit category. There, the leadership depends on members’ Dues to keep the Headquarters running, including regularly supplying water for the rest rooms in the building.

The defaulting PUL members’ reply of salary can be justified: The majority of media employers hardly pay their reporters in time; some beg their employees to ‘hustle somewhere’ until the previous months’ salaries are ready.

So, the reporters hang around venues of a program to ‘hustle’ by begging a popular participant—politician or business person—for ‘kato’ (monetary alm)

The cause of the employee’s regular penury is the non-workability of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which mandates each radio station owner to issue  and employment letter to anybody accepted into the media entity.

“The Collective Bargaining Agreement pressures media employers to release all the money, service fee, owed the reporter. Some media employers are giving less than five United States Dollars equivalent as daily pay to their reporters,  which the Ministry of Labour mandates every employer,” the PUL official informed radioinfo.africa.

However, the CBA is still dormant, running through three past leaderships, beginning from the leadership of Mr. Peter Quaqua, covering the period of 12 years.

The leadership of Mr. Charles B. Coffey, Jr (pictured) hasn’t picked up the Collective Bargaining Agreement issue, which appears dead.


Reporter: Samuel G. Dweh

[email protected]

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