September 28, 2022

The Independent Media Commission has held a one day seminar in Freetown to school newspaper and radio managers and owners on the professional and efficient management of their media houses.
The one day seminar, which was held at SLAJ headquarters in Freetown, brought together newspaper owners/editors, radio station managers, UNICEF and the British High Commission.
Speaking on the purpose of the seminar, Commissioner Ethel Johnson told the newspaper/radio station managers that the IMC is organizing the one day seminar to provide them with tips on the effective management of their news outlets and also create an interactive platform for them as regulators to talk frankly the issues confronting the media in Sierra Leone.
The Chairman of the Independent Media Commission, Mr. George Khoryama, noted that the IMC is overwhelmed with complaints bordering on the professionalism of journalists. He continued that the IMC is holding this nationwide seminar across the country to guide journalists on the need to maintain professionalism in their daily practice.
The IMC Chairman disclosed that Government is on the verge of expunging the Criminal Libel Law and those journalists should be aware that the replacement of the Civil Libel law would require journalists to be very professional in the day to day discharge of their duties.
Solomon Jamiru Esq. thanked the IMC for organizing the session and cited the fact that journalist need to be accountable more than ever than before due to the emergence of multi party democracy, liberalization and media plurality.
He assured the IMC and media managers of the desire of President Julius Maada Bio to sustain free speech, which, according to him, is a cardinal principle of democracy. The Deputy Minister reemphasized the commitment of the President to support the Mass Communication Department at Fourah Bay College, SLAJ and the Independent Media Commission.
Solomon Jamiru concluded by calling on the IMC to build the capacity of journalists, which, he noted, is seriously challenged. He said that it is time that for the media to engage private partners with a view to invest in the sector and remove poverty from the industry.
The President of SLAJ, Kelvin Lewis, stated that the existence of the Criminal Libel law establishes firm roots for poverty, noting that the law is not investor friendly. The SLAJ President disclosed that the law is not only about getting journalists to be responsible but it is about its impact on the business.
Representatives from UNICEF and the Press Secretary from the British High Commission also called on the Government to continue to maintain free speech and move towards removing the Criminal Libel law.
Various IMC Commissioners, including Dr. Francis Sowah, Commissioner Mustapha Sesay, Mr. Lansana Batilo and Dr. Suma made presentations on media management tips, the IMC Code of Practice, auto regulation and other cross cutting issues affecting media management in Sierra Leone.
The session was climaxed by a frank and interactive session, wherein most the journalists called on the IMC to wake up from their slumber and take on the actual business of monitoring and research, which remains integral as far the mandate of the IMC is concerned.