August 19, 2016 By Mohamed Massaquoi
Deputy Minister of Information and Communications has raised concerns over the manner in which media outlets reported the riotous incident in the northern district town of Kabala, claiming that most media institutions, including the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Cooperation SLBC, the Africa Young Voices Television, AYV and many other newspapers used photos and footages from social media without proper verifications.
While addressing journalists at the ministry’s conference hall in Freetown, Cornelius Deveaux said the Independent Media Commission (IMC) responsible for the regulation of media institutions has raised the issue with the ministry, adding that such unprofessional conduct has the potential to misinform the public about the actual issues on ground.
“This is very serious and most of the media houses including the SLBC, AYV and others were involved in such professional misconduct. We are working closely with the IMC to ensure that the appropriate legislations are put in place so that media practitioners can uphold the tenant of professional journalism” he said, adding that government views with serious concern and extreme regret about the Kabala incident, which resulted to the death of two Sierra Leoneans.
“While government is not averse to any person and group of persons expressing disagreement with a government policy, we would want to draw attention that there are established laws and processes through which one is entitled to express his or her grievances. Government is also of the view that expression of dissatisfaction with a government policy is fundamental in the practice of democracy and in ensuring transparency and accountability to the people” he said, adding that an investigation is underway after which the circumstances that led to the flouting of policy advice and the death of two people and the destruction of properties worth millions of Leonean.