November 20, 2015 By Mohamed Massaquoi
The Chairman of the Independent Media Commission (IMC) has appealed to media practitioners to court friendship with the commission, adding that they are not against any journalist in the country, contrary to the perception of certain media practitioners.
Ambassador Allieu I. Kanu said he has enormous respect for journalists and that he has had a good working relationship with journalists over the past years.
“I want to appeal to media practitioners to consider us as partners in development. We are not enemies to the press; in fact I have more friends in the media than any other institution, as ambassador and a lawyer for a long time,” said Amb. Kanu.
He added: “Sometimes we call media practitioners and advise them on certain matters. I want my friends to understand that I am not directly involved in investigating cases, there is a special committee responsible for complaints; so I am appealing to my friends that our doors are always open and we are ready to provide the required services to journalists.”
The current IMC has a rather frosty relationship with the media fraternity in the country after some of the commissioners were controversially selected to serve on the board, despite protest from the Sierra Leone Association of Journalist.
SLAJ, as the IMC stipulates, had sent names of its nominees to the president, but State House omitted some of the names in favour of others without consultation with the umbrella body. In response, SLAJ took a decision to boycott activities of the IMC.
But the recent charm overtures by Amb. Kanu could lead to an entente between the media union and regulatory body.