October 1, 2022

The President, Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) and his executive have discountenanced attempts by the Independent Media Commission to review fees on registration, license and renewal.
The Ahmed Nasrala-led Executive made their first courtesy call on the IMC at its Siaka Stevens Street Office to discuss issues of common concerns to the two bodies.
The Commission in compliance with Section 38 (1) and (2) of the IMC Act of 2000 as amended, decided to use the meeting to engage SLAJ on the issue of reviewing license and registration fees for media houses as provided for in the Act.
Mr. Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, while appreciating the approach of the IMC to engage his organization on the review of the licence and registration fees, also underscored the point that media owners and managers are not ready for any increment, largely based on the current economic situation in the country.
While this was his own personal response to the IMC, the SLAJ President also assured the IMC that the issue will be discussed with the general membership.
Mr. George S. Khoryama, IMC Chairman, had earlier on formally welcomed the new executive to the IMC and congratulated them on their election.
Other pertinent issues discussed also had to do with work of both institutions, the need for effective collaboration and cooperation between IMC and SLAJ, and proposals to celebrate, document and publish a book on the various steps taken for the repeal of the Criminal and Seditious Laws contained in Part V of the 1965 Public Order Act which, among other things, criminalizes libel.
The SLAJ President had assured the IMC that they will work with them to engage government to provide the necessary support for the effective and efficient operations of the Commission.
The meeting between the two resolved the following: the Commission will put on hold the proposed increment on the registration, licence and renewal fees, while it continues to work with SLAJ on the way forward.
The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) will support the Commission’s intention to call on the government for increased budgetary allocation.
SLAJ re-echoed the fact that the IMC is a statutory institution and hence should have government’s unflinching financial support to execute its mandate
They noted the fact that the IMC will have increased responsibilities to regulate the media within democratic contexts countrywide ahead of the repeal of part 5 of the criminal libel law.
The two institutions stressed the need for responsible media practice particularly after the repeal of the criminal libel law.
They pledged to continue to work together in the interest of promoting media rights, freedoms and responsibilities.