Friday, September 3, 2010

Political & Election Reporting: DBC Senior Fellow to Conduct Symposium in Liberia

Source: Frontpage Africa
The DuBois Bunche Center for Public Policy
Jonathan Hicks, a senior fellow at the DuBois Bunche Center for Public Policy at Medgar Evers College and former political reporter for The New York Times, has received funding from the Ford Foundation to travel to Liberia to conduct a symposium on political and election reporting in advance of that country’s 2011 presidential election.
The journalism symposium, “Preparing for 2011,” will take place between November 22 and December 2 of this year. It will be anchored at the University of Liberia in a partnership with the DuBois Bunche Center and the Press Union of Liberia. It is designed to bring together working journalists and mass communications students in Liberia to hear presentations from experts on election coverage and to interact with political leaders and elections officials within Liberia. The symposium on election reporting comes in less than a year before what is considered a pivotal election for Liberia.

This is the second time Mr. Hicks has received funding from the Ford Foundation to do projects in Liberia. He traveled to the West African country a year ago on a grant from the Ford Foundation to do reporting about the redevelopment of Liberia following nearly 14 years of civil conflict. Upon his return, Mr. Hicks established a scholarship fund for aspiring journalists studying in the mass communications department of the University of Liberia.
Jonathan Hicks is also the host of Urban Focus, a weekly radio program in conjunction with DBC on Medgar Evers College Radio. While in Liberia, Mr. Hicks also will do reporting that will be broadcast on Urban Focus and on DBC’s web site. Through interviews with politicians, policy makers, industry practitioners, scholars and expert analysts, Urban Focus explores a range of issues that affect underserved communities and communities of color from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, to Cape Town, South Africa. The show is broadcast every Wednesday from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and programs are archived on the DuBois Bunche Center’s website at
Mr. Hicks has had about 30 years of experience covering politics, business, industry and the role of people of color in the world of business. For 24 years, he worked for The New York Times, where he covered the politics of New York State and New York City. During that time, he developed a reputation as one of the foremost authorities on the inner workings of the political culture in New York City and New York State. He has been a frequent guest on local radio and television news programs where he regularly offered political analysis and commentary.
He also was the author of the Politics 5-B column for The Times’ website. He is also the scriptwriter for “Back Door Channels: The Price of Peace,” a documentary by Channel Productions that looks at the behind-the-scenes events behind the historic Camp David accord between Egypt, Israel and the United States. The film was selected to open the 2009 Monte Carlo Television Festival. He is also the co-editor of From Disaster to Diversity: What’s Next for New York City’s Economy?
Mr. Hicks has been a guest lecturer at a number of colleges and universities, including the London School of Printing, Columbia University, Swarthmore College, Southern University, and the University of Missouri. He has also been a member of the visiting faculty at the Maynard Institute Summer Program for Minority Journalists at the University of California at Berkeley and the Century Foundation’s Century Institute Summer Program at Williams College.
Before coming to The Times, Mr. Hicks was a business reporter for the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, where he covered a wide range of topics from labor to manufacturing. Prior to that, he was a general assignment reporter at The Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, where he had previously been an announcer at a National Public Radio affiliate station.
About the DuBois Bunche Center for Public Policy at Medgar Evers College, CUNY
The DuBois Bunche Center for Public Policy (DBC) is dedicated to forging and highlighting solutions to the challenges confronting people of color living within urban communities in the United States and throughout the African Diaspora. DBC produces research, formulates policies, sponsors conferences, and produces public affairs media programming that seeks to advance economic and social justice.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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