February 15, 2016 By Mahmoud Fofana
The Chairman and a team of Commissioners from the Independent Media Commission (IMC) last Thursday, in their tour of the provinces to assess media facilities outside the capital Freetown, visited the newly established City Media Centre, a media company that operates Hope FM 93.3, Provincial Times newspaper, and Stanley’s Media Consultancy at Field Road in Makeni city.
On arrival at the facility, the CEO of City Media Centre, Stanley Bangura Jr., welcomed the country’s media regulators and took them on a conducted tour of the facility.
Mr. Bangura, who doubles as Vice President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), said the centre is solely owned by him and was established to help address journalists’ welfare issues like employment, among others.
He said the new centre is poised to recruit and train journalists to become professionals in the field of reporting. He said he hopes to achieve this with the help of senior colleagues, whom he said have passion for professionalism in the Sierra Leone media.
He assured the commissioners that the centre will abide by the Media Code of Practice and work towards making a difference in the media landscape, and hoped to lead by example.
The IMC Desk Officer in the North, Kelfala Samura, thanked CEO Stanley Bangura for his fortitude in establishing the centre and his determination to make a difference in the Sierra Leone media landscape, particularly in the provinces.
He informed the commissioners of the support and cooperation he enjoys from Mr. Bangura in carrying out his work.
IMC Chairman, Ambassador Allieu Kanu, in his address, said he doesn’t want to see a Sierra Leone where there are only two radio stations – Star Radio and the rest – but rather “Star Radio, Hope FM 93.3 and the rest”.
He described Mr. Bangura as an exemplary journalist and the City Media Centre as second to none in the provinces. He called on other media practitioners to emulate his good example, and assured him of the IMC’s readiness to support him at all times.
Also speaking, Commissioner Patricia Ganda said she was never surprised at Mr. Bangura’s ability and capability to establish such a centre, but admonished him against recruiting unproductive staff who will add no value to the institution.
“I want to advice that you should consider starting small and expand as you go along for sustainability purposes,” she cautioned.
Commissioner James Williams expressed gratitude to the CEO for considering investing in the media, and encouraged him to expedite the process of having the newspaper on the newsstands before the end of February.
He warned against deviating from the newspaper’s policy as presented to the IMC.
The commissioners heaped praises on Bangura for the enterprising move taken to set up such a centre.
They challenged other media professionals to emulate the SLAJ VP’s example in order to redeem the media from predators who have for long kept a stranglehold on the media.