United States Embassy Donates 20 Computers to Ivorian Journalists’ Network
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
“The United States Embassy has worked to increase the capacity of Ivorian journalists to inform the population and monitor the actions of those in government, business and civil society.” Ambassador Phillip Carter III said this on Wednesday, June 6, 2012 during a ceremony where he presented twenty computers to the Ivorian journalists’ association, the UNJCI.
The computers will be used by journalists and other media professionals at the network’s headquarters that was looted during last year’s post-electoral violence in Côte d’Ivoire. The donation will also promote a vibrant and responsible press in Cote d’Ivoire.
The ceremony brought together top officials from both independent media organizations and government institutions including the Ministry of Communication and the National Press Council, a state-run print media regulatory body.
“A democracy is not weakened by criticism. If the criticism is valid, it serves as a useful check. If the criticism is contrived, have faith in your people to realize that,” Ambassador Carter said. He also called on Ivorian media practitioners to become more professional because, “Newspapers that print ridiculous lies undermine their own credibility,” adding that “Overreaction by arresting journalists or suspending newspapers does not strengthen a government, it undermines democratic principles.”
Ambassador Carter finally encouraged the journalists to use the computer room to find and report the truth, without bias, in order to strengthen democracy and promote tolerance and justice in Côte d’Ivoire.