February 12, 2020
Frederick V. Kanneh
The Independent Media Commission (IMC) yesterday launched the 2020 National Media Awards at its headquarters on Siaka Stevens Street in Freetown.
The IMC which is the main regulatory body for all media institutions in Sierra Leone annually organizes national Media Awards Night that serves as a platform to motivate journalists across the country.
The awards night also serve as a means to encourage media practitioners to uphold the principles of journalism,and to a large extent comply with the international best practices of the profession.
“I must hasten to thank the media for the appreciable level of corporation the commission has received from most of you since we came to office a little over a year ago. Out of 91 active newspapers, 142 active radio stations and 11 active television stations, it is interesting to note that on the average, there are more compliant media institutions than the deviant ones in term of complaint brought to the attention of the IMC by the public,” said ICM Chairman, George Khoryama.
Chairman George Khoryama continued that the vision of the MIC is to serve as pillars of democracy by ensuring that the sustenance of a free pluralistic and responsible media in Sierra Leone, adding that in pursuit of that goal the commission must among other mandates ensure that the media institutions achieve the highest level of efficiency in the provision of media services.
“For the above reason, we are here this afternoon to promote fair competition among media institutions and persons engaged in the provision of media services. We are here this afternoon to launch the 2020 National Award Night which will take place on Friday 9th April 2020,” he said.
He concluded by admonishing journalists that the award ceremony will be an opportunity for them to sharpen their journalistic prose, cons and skills in various categories of their choice, adding that the IMC award night was one of the flagship events aimed at identifying and honouring individual journalists and media houses that have demonstrated outstanding professionalism and responsibility in the practice of the profession.
Giving the criteria for the 2020 IMC Award Night, Commissioner Dr. Francis Sowa was quick to state that journalists have different opportunities to bag many awards home in this year’s award night due to the many categories listed for the competition.
He noted that there will be a total of 27 categories, and that from category 1 to 18 is meant for best Coverage Award on varities of issues including coverage on health, agriculture, parliament, tourism among others, adding that he was with the conviction that journalists have written on different issues that fall within the above categories which made them legible for the competition.
He also said that the second segment of the award was going to target individuals who have done excellent job in the media landscape on their own, adding that the best male and female media practitioner, best investigative journalist, best cartoonist among others, fell within the said category.
“The last part of the award is going to media institution or programs, including best radio program, best community radio, most complaint newspaper, most complaint Television and so many more,” he said.
However, Dr. Sowa noted that the eligible applicants should be among media institutions who have registered with IMC and fully paid up for 2019, and all practicing journalists should be registered with Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) and fully paid up for 2019.
He concluded by referring both media institution and journalist who fall within the above criteria to go the enquiry section in the IMC’s office for more enquiring about same.