The Press & Other Media in Liberia

Even though the Liberian Constitution guarantees freedom of the press, the press has long been tightly controlled in Liberia. Journalists have certainly faced detention and violence in recent years. Freedom of the press briefly was experienced during President Sawyer's transitional government. In recent history, Liberia's previous president, Charles Taylor declared in 2000 a "cyberwar" against his country, and shut down two radio stations, one of which was owned by the Roman Catholic Church (http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,35016,00.html).

For a recent overview of the situation facing the press, see the Ijnet International Center for Journalists (http://www.ijnet.org/FE_Article/countryoverview.asp?CountryID=33&UILang=1). Also included is the Liberian journalists' Code of Ethics (http://www.ijnet.org/Director.aspx?P=Ethics&ID=8328).

On the other hand, there have been some attempts to increase communications outlets to further development in the country.

Further reading:

  • Liberia. 2000. Index on Censorship 29, no. 2:106. Mission of Death. 1991. Democratic Journalist 36, no. 5:.10.
  • Bantu, Isaac. 1991. Press in Liberia Under the Samuel Doe Administration. Democratic Journalist 36, no. 2:.7.
  • Best, Kenneth Y. "The Liberian Press: Quo Vadis?" Liberian Studies Journal 22.1 (1997): 45-66.
  • Bourgault, Louise M. 1994. Liberian Rural Communications Network: A Study in the Contradictions of Development Communication. Journal of Development Communication 5, no. 1:57.
  • Louise M. Bourgault, "Occult Discourses in the Liberian Press Under Sam Doe: 1988-1989," Alternation Vol. 4, No. 2 (1997), 191.
  • Burrowes, Carl P. 1999. 'In Common With Colored Men, I Have Certain Sentiments': Black Nationalism and Hilary Teage of the Liberia Herald. Vol. 16.
  • ----. "Modernization and the Decline of Press Freedom: Liberia 1847 to 1970." Journalism & Mass Communication Monographs.160 (1996): iii, 1-35.
  • Burrowes, Carl P. 1997. Press Freedom in Liberia, 1830-1847: The Impact of Heterogeneity and Modernity. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 74, no. 2:331-347.
  • Burrowes, Carl P. 1996. Modernization and the decline of press freedom: Liberia 1847 to 1970. Journalism & Communication Monographs, 36p.
  • ---. Press Freedom in Liberia, 1830-1970: The Impact of Modernity, Ethnicity and Power Imbalances on Government-Press Relations. Temple U., 1995
  • Cole, Henry B. "The Press in Liberia." Liberian Studies Journal -72 4.2 (1971): 147-55.
  • Deddeh, Suah S. 2000. Pushing for press freedom in Liberia. Journal of Democracy 11, no. 2:159.
  • Holmes, Patricia A. "The Voice of America in Liberia: The End of the Road." Liberian Studies Journal 17.1 (1992): 79-93.
  • Hughes, Mary Ellen. The Rural Mimeo Newspaper Experiment in Liberia., 1972.
  • Innis, Michael Alexander. Political Communication in Wartime Liberia: Themes and Concepts (http://www.er.uqam.ca/nobel/cepes/pdf/no26.pdf)
  • Kamara, Tom. "The Liberian Press Under Dictatorship, 1980-1990: A Comment." Liberia-Forum [West Germany] 5.9 (1989): 62-7.
  • Kweekeh, Florida. 1987. Radio for Rural Development in Liberia. InterMedia 15, no. 2:27.
  • Oton, Esuakema U. 1961. The Press of Liberia: A Case Study. Journalism Quarterly 38.2 (1961): 208-12.
  • Rogers, Momo K. 1986. The Liberian Press: An Analysis. Journalism Quarterly. 63:275-81, Summer 1986
  • ---"The Press in Liberia, 1826-1996: A Select Bibliography." Liberian Studies Journal 22.1 (1997): 95-120.
  • --- Liberian Journalism, 1826-1980. Southern Illinois U., Carbondale, 1989.
  • Mertins, Silke. "Presse Und Freiheit - Pressefreiheit in Liberia?" Liberia-Forum [West Germany] 2.2 (1986): 73-80.
  • Shope, Ronald Joseph. The Patron's Press: An Examination of Broadcast Press Freedom in the Republic of Liberia between 1976 and 1986. Pennsylvania State U., 1996.
  • Smith, Lewis. 1987 Liberia: muzzling the media. Africa-Report 32:58-60, March/April 1987.
  • Smith, Stephen. 1991. My Mock Execution. Democratic Journalist 36, no. 2:6.