The Extractive Media Watch (EMW) has been officially registered as a not-for-profit organization under the laws of Liberia.The organization was conceived in 2013 after a group of Liberian journalists attended a week-long intensive training on the covering the oil and gas sector.
The week-long training was provided by the International Institute for Information and Communication Technologies Journalism also known as PenPlusBytes with sponsorship from Humanity United.The training was held in collaboration with the Liberia Media Center, United States Embassy, and some international oil companies including Chevron Liberia Limited.
PenPlusBytes seeks to empower the media through the use of ICTs to advance the work of journalism. It consists of a network of media organizations and journalists interested in using ICTs effectively to advance the cause of journalism.
Some of the journalists who formed part of the 2013 oil and gas worked for The Daily Observer, Liberia Broadcasting System, Hot FM, Heritage and the Informer newspapers. Others include the Liberia Women Democracy Radio and the New Dawn newspaper.
A news release quotes the groups coordinator, Mr. Roland Perry as saying that the certification of group will help strengthen the work of the organization in achieving its aim of at advocating for the rights of Liberians as it relates to the country’s extractive sector.
Mr. Perry noted that the organization has been formed and is inspired to increase transparency and accountability in the extractive sector of Liberia through up-to-date and accurate reporting.
He added that it will increase media engagements with the view to playing a watchdog role over the sector and highlighting citizens’ participation, in budget formulation, budget tracking, monitoring and reporting processes over revenue generated from the extractive sector.
Mr. Perry stated that the EMW also intends to extend its watchdog role to making sure that concession companies operating in the extractive sector live up to their social responsibilities to the communities in which they operate, especially as it relates to local content.