May 8, 2017 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara
The Chairperson of the Independent Media Commission (IMC) has showered praises on the Mass Communication Department at Fourah Bay College for what he described as the fundamental training it has offered to journalists for the past decades.
Whilst speaking last Friday at the top floor of the department’s building in commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day, Ambassador Alie Kanu noted that there has been some amount of sanity in the media as a result of the professional training the department was giving to journalists.
“The number of complaint against journalist has decreased drastically and that will be ascribe to the work of the lecturers at the Mass Communication Department at Fourah Bay College, because they are producing journalists who are aufait with the ethics of the profession,” he said.
The Ambassador said the World Press Freedom Day was a very important day in the annals of journalism.
He noted that Part IV of the Public Order Act of 1965 must be repealed, so that media practitioners would get the free hands to practice.
The IMC boss stated that the commission was working on number of issues ranging from the wages of journalists to seeking funds to train journalists on electioneering process.
He noted that the government would not shut down the social media but they were working on modalities to ensure that it would not endanger the public peace.
Also speaking was the President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Kelvin Lewis, who re-echoed the call on president Koroma to repeal Part IV of the Public Order Act of 1965 as he has promised some nine years ago.
He said the association was aware of the problems caused by social media but that problem would not be solved by shutting it down.
“It is not only the government that is afraid of the social media but even us-the newspaper owners. Before the news get to us, it is already on the social media. Sometimes we publish stale news. I’m worry about the survival of my newspaper in the next 5-10 years,” he said.
On his part, Professor Ritchard M’Bayo who served as the lead presenter of the program compared the operations of the media in Sierra Leone and that of the United States.
He outlined ten failures of the media in Sierra Leone and concluded by stating that the media in the country would never been seen performing their roles in the democratic process because they lack the financial strength.
Earlier, the chairperson of the occasion, Mrs. Bernadette Cole who had served as Head of Department for Mass Communication for twelve years stated the importance of the World Press Freedom Day.