Power & Press Freedom in Liberia

Liberian Journalists, 1822-1846: Adam W. Anderson• Francis Burns • Squire Chase • Charles L. Force • S. M. E. Goheen • B. V. R. James • Levi D. James • Walter P. Jayne, Jas. C. Minor • John H. Paxton • Beverly A. Payne • Charles A. Pitman • John B. Russwurm • John Seys • Hilary Teage Liberian Journalists, 1847-1870: Edward W. Blyden • Francis Burns • Thomas Morris Chester • Dessaline T. Harris • William B Hoyt • Hilary R. W. Johnson • Gaston Killian • G. H. Leone • John N. Lewis • William Highland Lynch • G. H. Mason • Beverly A. Payne • Charles A. Pitman • Jacob Rambo • Edward James Roye • Hilary Teage • Journalists, 1870-1907: F. M. Allen • B. J. K. Anderson • J. G. Auer • J. W. Barbour • Arthur Barclay •Edward Wilmot Blyden • Mrs. S. H. Blyden • Alexander P. Camphor • Nathaniel H. B. Cassell • John W. Cooper • Joseph S. Dennis • James H. Dennis • James J. Dennis • S. J. Dossen • Charles Benedict Dunbar • S. D. Ferguson, Jr. • John R. Freeman • Robert Henry Gibson • P. Osborne Gray • J. H. Green • Joseph C. Hartzell • H. B. Hayes • Joseph W. Hilton • S. A. Horace • J. W. N. Houston • Thomas Washington Howard, Jr. • Thomas Washington Howard, Sr • Joseph A. Johnson • Alfred B. King • • Charles Dunbar Burgess King • Mrs. Susanna Augusta King • E. T. Langley • A. M. Leone • S. A. Liberty • W. H. Lynch • O. H. Massey • Theodore Edward McCarthy •Edward S. Morris • Robert A. Phillips • J. A. Railey • Robert B. Richardson • Edward James Roye • J. R. Spurgeon • Daniel Ware • Augustus Washington • Liberian Journalists, 1908-1929: B. J. K. Anderson • Thomas E. Beysolow • S. Y. Bonifacio • C. R. Branch • Dixon Byrd Brown • N. H. S. Brownell • Charles S. Bryant • A. H. Butler, Sr. • Charles B. A. Caine • R. Johnson Clarke • W. C. Cummings • Charles C. Dennis • James H. Dennis • Anna Diggs • S. J. Dossen • F. Wilcom Ellegor • Thomas J. R. Faulkner • Garretson Wilmot Gibson • J. Clement A. Gibson • James A. Gittens • P. Osborne Gray •Elwood L. Haines • W. S. Hoff • Daniel Edward Howard • Hilary R. W. Johnson III • J. Aladube Johnson • J. Edmund Jones • T. E. Kla-Williams • J. J. Massaquoi • W. M. McClain • Samuel Blio Himie Merriam • John L. Morris • H. B. Nichols • J. W. Pearson • Monroe Phelps • Albert Porte • J. H. Reed • W. J. Reed • C. A. Reeves • W. M. R. Richards • Ellis H. Robison • Samuel Alfred Ross • Samuel J. Ross • F. A. K. Russell • C. Henry A. Scott • Nathaniel H. B. Seton • James L. Sibley • J. Smith • Te Ve Arthur Smith • Anthony D. Stevens • A. B. Stubblefield • G. W. Stubblefield • William H. Thomas • Walter L. Turner • Major T. Vampelt • T. Ebenezer Ward • John W. Wood • Ernest Jerome Yancy • Liberian Journalists, 1930-1954: G. Henry Andrews • L. Benjamin Andrews • C. Letecia Baines • J. K. P. Baissl • James David Kwee Baker • John Baptist Bar-Rolle • Norma Bloomquist • George Tilman Brewer, Jr. • Richard K. Brown • Jacob Browne • N. H. S. Brownell • Charles B. A. Caine • C. Wellington Campbell • David S. Carter • Val B. Caulker • Stanley Clarke • Henry B. Cole • Austin Coleman • J. F. B. Coleman • Georgia Coleman-Cole • Diana Coleman-Cooper • Charles Edward Cooper • R. F. R. Cooper • Bertha Corbin • La Verne Corbin • W. A. Corbin • Edward Briggsford B. Cummings • Eranus K. Davies • Roland Tombekai Dempster • Charles C. Dennis • Isabel Dennis • James B. Dennis • R. T. Dickerson • T. O. Dosumu-Johnson • S. B. Elliote, Jr. • E. E. Eze • Albert N. Fahnbulleh • A Bernard Gibson • Nathaniel M. Gibson • C. Hector Harmon • Samuel George Harmon • George P. Harris • Richard Abrom Henries • C. H. Henry • Edward G. Hodge • Elsi Leroye Holder • Fred W. Hooke • Daniel Richard Horton • Mrs. C. M. Johnson • Oscar B. Johnson • J. Edmund Jones • Abraham Kamanda • C. Alexwyn Karpeh • Charles T. O. King • Momoly Massaquoi • Nathaniel V. Massaquoi • Lewis A. McCauley • J. W. H. McClain • Lucrene Montague • S. J. Moort • Daniel Colston Nelson, Jr. • U. U. Nkamare • A. Nwama Obi • Jacob E. Odugbe • Robert E. Okai, Jr. • James Emmanuel Padmore • W. P. Page • Stanton B. Peabody • J. Edwin Peal • S. Foulton W. Perry • Albert Porte • W. J. Reed •Eric E. Reeves • C. Adolphus Richards • S. T. A. Richards • Henry R. W. Ricks • Z. Blyden H. Roberts • C. Henry A. Scott • A. Benjamin Sharpe • J. Alexander Simms • Clarence Lorenzo Simpson, Sr. • Te Ve Arthur Smith • George B. Stevenson •J. Winston Stewart • A. B. Stubblefield • G. W. Stubblefield • C. Frederick Taylor • William H. Thomas •J. M. Thomson • James M. W. Thomson • Miss R. I. L. Thomson • Samuel Annies David Thomson •Edison Reginald Townsend •Waltr L. Turner • H. Williams Tyes • Eugene C. Kingspride Ugboma • Major T. Vampelt • Samuel T. Voker • Lewis W. Wah • J. I. A. Weeks • E. W. Williams • P. Gle Wolo • Tuan Wreh • Ernest Jerome Yancy • Mansfield Wellington Yancy• Liberian Journalists, 1955-1970: Julius Adighbe • G. Henry Andrew • George Atteen • C. Letecia Baines • Charles Bates • James Blunt • Ehimika Broderick • Mary Antoinette (Grimes) Brown • John Bruce • Mary Bryant • Percy Caine • Afroman Canada • James Cassell • Henry B. Cole • Lucy Cole • Sylvester Coleman • Martha Cooper • Doris Corniff • J. G. Daniels • Rufus M. Darpoh • Rena Davidson • Charles C. Dennis • Isabel Dennis • James C. Dennis • Kathy Diop • T. O. Dosumu-Johnson • Vivian J. Edward • Albert N. Fahnbulleh • Edwin B. Fekete • I. Van Fiske, Jr. • Mary McCritty Fiske • Cora Gibson • J. Percy Gunnel • John H. Hanson • Richard Abrom Henries • Faye Hershaw • Advertus A. Hoff • Gabriel S. Jebo • John P. Joshua • C. Alexwyn Karpeh • Aston S. King • Saba Kla-Williams • Paul C. Ma • Joseph Manning, Jr. • Samuel J. Mantee • John L. Marshall • Fatima Massaquoi-Fahnbulleh • Ernest McClain • Roland B. Mucolor • Bruce W. Munn • Bobby Naidoo • Adeniola Ogun • Stanton B. Peabody • Albert Porte • J. Blamo Robinson • Momo Rogers • Wesley Sadler • J. W. Taffee • J. B.Taylor • Mike Thompson • W. S. Tieh • Tom Tinkle •Edison Reginald Townsend • Margaret Traub • Sayeh B. Tuan • Eugene C. Kingspride Ugboma • Augustine U. Uziogwe • Samuel L. Williams • Tuan Wreh • Ernest Jerome Yancy

Reviewers Comments
Kenneth Y. Best, Publisher, the Daily Observer
Power and Press Freedom in Liberia is an important and unique contribution to Liberian literature and media. It is an excellent example of scholarship, focusing especially on so critical an ...

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Herbert R. W. Brewer, Morgan State University
Power and Press Freedom in Liberia is a major contribution to our understanding of how the African World has made and re-made itself over the past two centuries. But what ...

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Aggrey Brown (1941-2011), University of the West Indies
Power and Press Freedom in Liberia is an intellectual tour de force. While essentially about the press, the work is simultaneously a compelling history of the development of the Liberian ...

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James Curran, Goldsmiths’ College, University of London
Power and Press Freedom in Liberia is an eloquent and scholarly history of the press in Africa's oldest republic. It is an important book not only for students of African ...

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Robert W. McChesney, University of Illinois
Burrowes has written a theoretically sophisticated and well-researched critical history of the Liberian press. Power and Press Freedom in Liberia opens our eyes to African media, and the issue of ...

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Hamid Mowlana, former director, International Communication Program, American University
In a time of growing concern for the power of media, Burrowes offers an illuminating contribution to the field of communication as he explores press freedom in colonial Liberia to ...

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Momo K. Rogers, Director-General of the Cabinet, Office of the President, Liberia
Power and Press Freedom in Liberia is more than another contribution to the field of media law, replete as the book is with analyzing and, where applicable, debunking the many ...

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Emira Woods, former co-director, Foreign Policy in Focus, Institute for Policy Studies
This timely book, at once readable and sophisticated, offers a historical analysis and a critical interpretation of the conditions that inhibit press freedom. Power and Press Freedom in Liberia gives ...

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

Liberian society and the press

Theoretical framework

Chapter 2: Colonial Period, 1822 to 1846

Liberia in 1843

A press to herald a nation or illuminate all Africa?

Institutional context of the press

Denominational affiliation and politics

Government-church controversies

“Seys Party” and the 1840 election

Chapter 3: The Republican Era, 1847 to 1899

The press : raising national consciousness

Race, republicanism and freedom of expression

Geographic limits of society

Churches, government, and the press

Electoral politics and journalism

The 1871 coup d’État

Competing ideas of status

Johnson’s attempted synthesis

Chapter 4: The Creation of Greater Liberia, 1900-1930

From a culturally-based polity to a territorial state

Government, politics, and the press

Influence of fraternities, corporations, and chiefs

Declining influence of the church

From Pan-Africanism to Liberian nationalism

Political emergence of women

Church affiliations and political alliances

Politics and restrictions of free expression

Fall of the King administration

Impact of the expansionist paradigm

Chapter 5: The Drive for Modernization, 1931 to 1970

Journalism during the Barclay years

Electoral politics

Barclay uses the sedition law

Tubman further restricts rights

Institutional and cultural changes

Journalism in the Tubman years

Restrictions on the press

The Independent, the Listener and the 1955 elections

Themes and legacy of the period

Chapter 6

Modernization and Press Freedom

Liberia and press freedom theory

Press freedom and stability

Press freedom and globalization

Press freedom and power relations

Core values and restrictions

Policy and research implications 

 

Power&Press

 

Power and Press Freedom in Liberia, 1830-1970 tells the rich and sometimes heroic story of the press in Liberia, from 1830, when the first newspaper was established, to 1970, the nadir of government control of the media.

Early newspapers were infused with a broad race consciousness, reflected in names like Africa’s Luminary, the African Watchman, and New Africa, which gave way to a specific nationalism at the turn of the last century, as the curtain of European colonization separated Liberians from the rest of the continent.

Initially, newspapers featured biting social commentary and enjoyed wide latitude to criticize officials. But, increased foreign investments in the 1940s brought stringent restrictions and a rise in government ownership of the media.

“This book is a pioneering work in Liberian media history…In a very real sense it is a history of Liberia itself. Burrowes takes us back to the founding of the country’’s first ever newspaper, The Liberia Herald in 1830, 17 years before Independence, and then leads us through the historical development of the media and of the nation state itself, through 1970.

In the process, he has given us a rich and vibrant introspection into the history of our country and its press as no other Liberian author has done. He records the repression and persecution which journalists experienced beginning in the 1940s and continuing, with even tragic results in later years. Burrowes has given us an invaluable and in depth lesson in Liberian history and media.”

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