TODAY, AS WE quietly observe the passing of our 20th Anniversary, we do so with deep, sober reflection not only on the checkered past, an eager eye on the current trends of the national business, and a high determination to enter the future with greater dedication, but also with misgivings as the nation endures the hurt and despair that the slump in the economy has wrought to the Liberian living standard. We do so also with the radiant hope that a change of political and management guards brings to a trusting, forward-looking heart.
WITH THIS HOPE in the morrows, we assure our many readers and admirers that we will not walk alone, just as we have always been. We invoke God’s healing mercy on the nation, the people of Liberia, and the government under the leadership of President George Weah and Vice President Jewel-Howard Taylor. It is our prayers that the Good Lord will take the reins of their administration and bless the works of their hands as we face the future together with brazen hopes of irreversible progress.
AS WE LOOK into the future with Divine hope, we do so with a caveat that functional hope in the supernatural requires disdain for the vices that work against growth and progress of a nation. This is because having lived through two government administrations, each promising pie in the sky but coming out flat on their face, we come away through the years – through the experience age awards – anchored in the belief that hope is good works. With eye on the life of King Solomon of biblical time, many opine that age doesn’t matter – necessarily.
THEY EXALT WISDOM as the moral cloud that must be cherished over the number of birth anniversaries one has acquired, and celebrated. True. But we hold that age is the basic centerpiece of knowledge. In fact, it is a basic barometer by which one’s worth or merit is measured. That is why an elder receives more censure when he errs than the young. Like a fine metal or diamond that gets its purity or refinement by fire, man’s true caliber arrives from life’s journey – age. So is The Analyst today minus the arrogance and condescension that often comes with age, ever ready to learn, cooperate, and reason together for a better Liberia.
THIS IS WHY AT 20, we are aware that The Analyst stands on the judgment seat of the public – both Liberian and international. We therefore pledge today that we will henceforth build upon the plusses of that judgement and do all within our powers to eliminate the negatives, guided by our founding principles and journalistic best practices. We are not strangers to adversity. Our checkered existence occasioned by governments bent on self-gratification has endowed us with a grandiose hope for formidability on the media landscape of this country. The Analyst, fondly called the Nation’s Most Analytical Newspaper, was born on the island of tumult and sailed on turbulent seas even before it celebrated its third anniversary.
WE ACKNOWLEDGE THE gracious partnership we have had with the Liberian people – their trust and support in our editorial judgment and counsel – without which we certainly would have joined dozens of our compatriots who only flashed on the horizon and withered away. In line with our mission to inform, educate and entertain – to trumpet the voice of the commoners – we will endure. This is the vocation for which we were born and for which in difficult political times we were deeply bruised and crucified.
TODAY WE REFLECT with regretful fondness upon the adversities of our two-decade existence, strengthened in our resolve, not weakened by the obstacles – then and now. Our offices were summarily shut down and our equipment seized several times without warrant. We were called all kinds of names: agent provocateurs; enemies of government; paid agents; rebel accomplices, etc. Most of our staffs, including the publisher/managing editor, were rounded up and thrown in common jails on mere police suspicion. In all of these, we were like sheep being taken to the slaughterhouse. We knew no despair then, and we will know no despair today.
AS WE OBSERVE our natal day, we forget not the public, particularly our loyal readers who constitute the bulwark and fortress around which our triumph is anchored. When we were only eight page, one-time and later three-time weekly and logistics-starving, it was the encouragement of readers, the prayers of well-wishers and little nickels and dimes of admirers that fastened the buckles that kept us in grips on the newsstand. Moreover, in the face of adversity – when the political regime under which we rose to the newsstand regarded and treated us like a sworn armed adversary, we depended upon the public, second to God the Almighty, to hummock us out of danger and console us, and even to fight our case when physically and psychologically preyed upon. We take this time to apologize to our readership and business partners for our irregular appearance on the newsstand, which resulted from problems beyond the immediate control of management. We promise to restore regularity thence.
THOUGH THE WEAH Administration is yet to prove itself akin to the regimes of the dark days of the past when the Liberian media, specifically The Analyst, hungered for free expression and free press, we will be wary of basking in the illusion of final freedom to slack the bond of camaraderie with the public. On this day therefore, we solemnly renew our covenant with the people of this country for whom, after all, we got our birth, and for whom we have become willing preys of official lashes. The journey we have embarked upon is timeless and non-regime specific. As we said in our maiden editorial, the mindset and conviction that drove our rise on the media terrain is to serve and keep the public trust, to support and ally with those who strive to build a better Liberia based on the pillars of freedom, justice, equality and patriotism.
IN OUR CELEBRATION today, we are not consumed by the euphoria of ululation and joy of the day, nor are we amused and carried away by the so-called improved media environment. We shall remain a vanguard of the voiceless ordinary people of Liberia. We shall remain a paragon of professionalism, objectivity and instrument of peace and development. We shall never waver in the face of intimidation even with guns at our chest. This is exactly why we celebrate today. We stood the test of time in the darkest of days because God, our Great Benefactor and the people of Liberia, our cherished constituents, were with us.
WE SALUTE AND THANK you all for your support and pray that our nation will triumph over all the adversities – natural and artificial. We offer a hand of understanding and cooperation with the administration of President George Weah in this noble endeavor with the caveat that we will not budge an inch from the promises of democracy and principles of good governance and rule of law.