The director of the Catholic Media Center/CAMCAM, Rev. Fr. Ambrose Dayouga Kroma, has urged Liberian journalists and media institutions to stop being foot-soldiers of propaganda and the promotion of selfish interests.They should instead adhere to principles and the ethics of journalism and better serve the human and national interests.Rev. Fr. Kroma made the statement yesterday at the opening of a one-day training workshop for journalists and editorial staff of Radio VERITAS.The workshop focused on the ethics and standards in journalism.Whenever media institutions are manipulated by self-interests and personal aggrandizement, good journalists will inadvertently, do damage when they report controversial and sensational stories out of context, said Fr. Kroma.According to him, failure to maintain ethical principles in the newsroom and poor understanding of the potential impact of the powerful effect of words and images can lead to acts of journalism that encourage hatred, violence, discrimination as well as social and economic injustice, and the lack of peace.The Catholic Media Center director said: “You will agree with me that the news room in Liberia today, like in any other country, is a very challenging place. For in the competitive world of the modern media, information flies around at lightning speed. There is little time for checking facts and images or confirming information and virtually no space for laid back discussions on the ethics of journalism.” It is within this conviction that management in an effort to rebrand radio VERITAS in terms of content, outlook, and human-centered programming, has embarked on the second of a series of workshops focusing on journalistic ethics, Rev.Fr. Kroma disclosed.“I hope that through this workshop, a clearer understanding of the station’s mission statement and editorial policy as laid down by the Catholic Church will be understood and serve as a guiding principle in our effort to educate the public and promote the social, economic, moral and spiritual well being of our society,” he declared.Despite the scarcity of time, he strongly believes that given the vital role and importance of credible information to peace building in post conflict Liberia, reporters and editors must pause and take a moment to judge the potential impact of offensive, divisive and inflammatory news content.Failure to give due consideration to this delicate act of managing and balancing information in journalism can result to tragic consequences, he warned.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Barbara March spoke out after Jorge Arroyo Garcia, 30, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the April 29, 2002, slaying. Two counts of attempted murder were dismissed in a plea deal with prosecutors, and he was immediately sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Garcia – a gang member and career criminal – had been deported to Mexico four times before he shot March at point-blank range during a traffic stop alongside a freeway in Irwindale. He fled to his native country and was extradited back to the United States only after a protracted legal battle. Speaking through a translator, Garcia read an apology to March’s relatives and friends who packed the courtroom. “I know this will not take away the hatred you feel for me,” he said. “If you see my face and I see your face again, I only want to ask for forgiveness for what I’ve done, and I know that you will forgive me at an appropriate time.” March’s widow, Teri, drove from Santa Clarita with an entourage of her slain husband’s colleagues. POMONA – Shortly after her son’s killer pleaded guilty Friday to his cold-blooded murder, the mother of sheriff’s Deputy David March denounced the U.S. government’s failure to control the nation’s borders. “It’s my belief that it’s our government and the activities that are going on at our borders that were the real killers of Dave, allowing illegal immigration, chaos, lawlessness to thrive in our wonderful country,” Barbara March said outside the courtroom. “And I think our politicians in Washington should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this country to come to a situation where these killers are able to come in and ruin the lives of Americans. “And it’s happening every day … The real people that were accountable for this crime live in the White House. And I’m really sorry to say that.” “I’m relieved beyond words,” she said after the hearing. “I just never really believe it till it happens – and it happened.” Garcia’s demeanor and apology in court surprised her, she said. “It showed there was some heart there. I expected him to be callous and horrible and evil and wicked and he wasn’t. It might mean that he gets to live with some guilt the rest of his life in prison. I felt satisfied with that.” And she said she’ll work toward the forgiveness Garcia sought. “I’m going to pray about that,” she said. “A year ago I hated him so much and that was my drive, to see him punished. He’s being punished now. I don’t hate him anymore.” Teri March was the face of a successful fight to change a Mexican Supreme Court treaty that prohibited the extradition of Mexican nationals to face charges in cases involving life imprisonment. “We always wanted him in the U.S. so we could see the process work,” she said. “I can’t tell you how happy I am to see that it worked. It wasn’t complicated. It made all the five years of frustration and agony worthwhile because a lot of good came out of it. “The (Mexican) Supreme Court changed its decision and killers will be prosecuted. It’s bittersweet – probably more sweet than bitter.” Sheriff Lee Baca and District Attorney Steve Cooley attended the hearing and spoke afterward about their decision to seek life in prison rather than the death penalty to get Garcia back in the U.S. “When it comes to murder, there is no justice,” Baca said. “There is accountability. Today, Garcia accounted for his crime.” Added Cooley: “He will spend the rest of his days in prison until he is dead. This is a very proud day for the justice system.” With the legal battle over, March’s family is left to cope with their loss and their memories of the gregarious and likeable deputy. “I know my son’s heart and I believe in my heart that he would forgive this man for what he has done,” Barbara March said during the hearing. “This day is very sad for me. … This man over here chose to do evil with his life.” firstname.lastname@example.org (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2718160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!