Liberian Bloggers hold the key to revolutionizing and transforming the Liberian entertainment industry. Allow us to tell you why.
In recent times, the blogging industry of Liberia has seen some illustrious growth, with new bloggers erupting what feels like monthly. Blogs have become the go-to for all things Liberian entertainment and culture both on social media and their respective websites. What remains debatable within the Liberian entertainment industry, though, is the relevance of bloggers to the overall industry, and what can be done to regulate the growing blogging industry.
One of the earliest blogs created and dedicated to promoting Liberian entertainment, C-Liberia Clearly, started a movement that has transcended beyond any one genre of blogs, to a wide range and variety that highlights and discusses a plethora of topics. From the likes of the web-focused Koloqua Dialogues and Sleepless in Monrovia, to social media giants like LIB Positives, ChichipolyRoom, the Liberian Influence, Liberian Stars Views, etc. There are even individual bloggers like influencer extraordinaire Deddeh Howard, Mattie James, Zuleka, Sarlea Mah, and Youtube vlogger, Philemena Urey, among others.
With so many bloggers and influencers dominating in their respective works and blogs, it came with disappointment and shock when the US-based Liberian Entertainment Awards (LEA) for the second year in a row, refused to include blogging as part of the categories eligible for nominations and awards. Baffled and perplexed by such an irresponsible omission, we took to our Twitter to ask users their thoughts on the blogging industry of Liberia, and how such an erasure by the Liberian Entertainment Awards could be possible despite the relentless efforts of bloggers to promote the entire industry.
From those exchanges, it was discovered that the public carry some different opinions about Liberian bloggers and the blogging industry at large. For one, the regular drama between or involving bloggers that is overshadowing the blogs themselves, and the misconception as per who exactly is even considered a blogger. Through this discovery, we were compelled to dissect the Liberian blogging industry, and what would make people feel the way they do. What we discovered, is that the true meaning and art of blogging is becoming lost in the conundrum of Facebook live chats, unchecked facts, social media insults, and unedited grammar. While these things can seem minuscule, it is important that such avoidable mistakes are not taken lightly, as it has the potential to lose the public’s trust and confidence in its bloggers. These mistakes, if left unchecked, carry the potential to minimize the level of professionalism that is needed to grow the blogging industry.
Apart from these avoidable mistakes, the Liberian blogging industry has been, and is incredibly crucial to every other aspect of the entertainment industry and beyond. Bloggers have served as a connection between Liberia and the diaspora, and as such, have brought some needed unity in the common interests of the two groups. Likewise, it is through the bloggers that the public becomes aware of the musicians, artists, models, actresses, events, and all other categories that make up the Liberian entertainment industry. This has gained even more momentum in the last few years; and so, the strategic omission of a blogging category by the Liberian Entertainment Awards and other award shows is a huge disservice to the tireless works and efforts bloggers put in to promote and showcase Liberian entertainment. In fact, it is a disservice to the entire entertainment industry at large, as it limits the potential strength and influence bloggers carry in using their platforms share Liberian entertainment with the world.
What could be done by the LEA and other award shows, is to use their platform to develop a standard to which the bloggers can be held, which would in turn weed out the bloggers, versus the Facebook commentators, among others. The commentators, podcasters, and other conversation-focused entertainers can even be seen as another category of its own, respectively. Likewise, as Liberian bloggers, it is important we bind together as a community, and develop our own standards to which we can be held. As seen with the growing successes of our various blogs and websites, as well as the success of such industries in other African countries, we have a great potential of trailblazing an entirely new era of Liberian entertainment. Bloggers are members of both the Liberian media industry, and the Liberian entertainment industry, which makes us a crucial resource for sharing Liberian entertainment and culture with the entire world.
It is a heavy, but important torch to carry, and as such, it needs to be given the required and necessary professionalism, respect, accolades, and recognition.