Liberia's veteran and outspoken journalist declared "Journalist of the year" 2017/2018
Saturday, June 09, 2018
It was the moment many across the country and the entire media landscape, way beyond our local frontiers, had been awaiting. For many, this occasion appeared to have long been delayed, if not deliberately, due to a mixture of reasons for which common sense would find it absurd to rationalize.
The ceremony however was a fulfillment of hopeful expectations for many, especially those with whom the LMDI boss shares common dream and expectations about Politics, the Economy, Justice, the Common people, Liberia and the Press.
It all took place on Saturday the 9th of June 2018 in the port city of Buchanan Grand Bassa county, approximately two and a half hours drive from central Monrovia. Journalists representing media institutions, government officials, Partners, families, friends as well as freelancers descended on Buchanan to grace the occasion not only as partakers in Liberia Media history, but to tell the story themselves in ways and manners that no other would.
Andso the moment finally arrived-albeit delayed by about four hours-an incomprehensive tradition of Liberians at large, when the Press Union of Liberia, a symbol of media plurality in the country since 1964, and the only institution clothed with the requisite authority to recognize and award individual journalists and media institutions for their numerous and outstanding contributions to humanity during a twelve month service period.
Of the many awards given to outstanding male and female journalists during the ceremony, the "Journalist of the Year award", a prestigious top of the table award that the Press Union of Liberia reserves for its most respected and prolific journalists was awarded to veteran natural born journalist and critique, John O. Kollie, founder and Director of Liberia Media for Democratic Initiatives. The award was in recognition of Mr. Kollie's impeccable media and educational platforms organized across all fifteen counties of Liberia to help sustain democracy through his dialogue programs: Ducor Debates, Tomorrows People, The Dialogue, What the People say among others.
To the satisfaction of many followers of Mr. Kollie over the years, the award was long anticipated, but it was nonetheless better late than never. To borrow from the biblical account about Simeon the righteous who had long awaited the consolation of Israel through the birth of the Messiah and was joyful to hold in his hands the promised Messiah, followers of Mr. Kollie, like Simeon the righteous, can now echo these paraphrased lines euphorically:
" Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you can now allow your servants to come home in peace. For our eyes have seen your greatness tonight which you have prepared in the sight of all people, even our enemies. But allow this as a warning sign to those who continue to oppose us in what you have destined us to do; and let this award be a victory and glory to the Liberian people for whom we labor so dearly". Thank you for this day.