LIBERIA’s EMERGING DEMOCRACY may well be on its way healthy growth and development, following a pace-setting exercise conducted last month by the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) at the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary (LBTS) on the Monrovia-Robertsfield highway, when it held its first National Congress ever, something that is now witnessing vehemence amongst media practitioners as they gradually assail the path to the Legislative and Presidential elections slated for next year. HELD UNDER THE theme: “Positioning The Media to Strengthen Democracy in Liberia,” witnessing the earlier conduct of the regular Edward Wilmot Blyden Lecture Series, followed by the elections of new corps of officers to administer the affairs of the Union for the next three years, earlier gracing of the occasion by United States Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield and other special guests signaled the height thus far attained since 1964. OBSERVABLY, WITH NO longer the unfolding of bitter experiences of hunting officers and members of the Union, involving robbery of its offices, harassments, detentions and stealth of its vehicle (PUL-1), there is absolutely no reason why it cannot succeed at becoming more professional, amidst other teeth that it now has to bite with support of the public. BEMOANING, THOUGH, THE PUL has remained of many of its past leaders and members, prominent among whom were the late veteran Rufus Marmah Darpoh who, along with Journalist Keith Best, succeeded at formally naming the Lecture Series in honor of the late Blyden in the early 1990s, warmly embraced by the First Providence Baptist Church that availed its edifice through the instrumentality of the Rev. Dr. Lincoln S. Brownell to conduct the monthly, it was by no mistake that the LBTS was appropriately selected as venue for the historic Congress, using the Rev. Dr. Bradley D. Brown and Mae Hall. WE INDEED SAY thanks to the administration of the Seminary, particularly Rev. Toby Gbeh, for the patience, understanding and support in continuingly demonstrating their unwavering commitment to the propagation of democratic ideals throughout Liberia, using the media as fundamental pillars. RIGHTLY UNDERSCORED BY U.S. Ambassador Greenfield, intensification by the Union and its members of role to providing timely and accurate information to the public remain quite crucial in the effectuation of the works of the National Elections Commission (NEC) in the pending elections, the latest and ongoing tones being set by the PUL and its subsidiary must be replicated to other like-minded institutions that must now be seen in the main and not periphery of the democratic process. THE FORMULATION OF strategies by media houses intended to allow them exhibit high degree of professionalism need not be overemphasized, since we fully concur with the U.S. envoy in averting any incident that would pose threat to the pending democratic exercise. NOW A MATTER of sourcing relevant funding to fully empower the media, far from the tactical of the past that must now take on a more strategic format, we call on traditional partners of the media to now play greater roles in empowering them. INDEED NOT ANGELS whilst fulfilling their sacred responsibilities to society, it is only fair that the PUL be viewed just as any civil institution, helping to provide hope to the hopeless through continuing advocacy, since its members are truly involved in conducting instrumental surveillance, a posture employed by Ambassador Greenfield when she admonished practitioners to “Walk Well” as found in Ephesians 4:1. WITH ANOTHER FORUM conducted over the weekend at the YMCA on Broad Street, intended to create more awareness amongst the public on the relevance of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), now could be the best time for GSM companies to take full advantage of the situation in establishing hot line centers for the public various communities in support of the Whistle Blowers’ Act to back the FOIA, since the latter is truly investigative and interpretative.