April 25, 2016 By John Baimba Sesay in CHINA
The Embassy of Sierra Leone in China Friday, 22 April, 2016 hosted journalists a group of 20 Sierra Leonean Journalists to a working lunch, rounding up a three week long training session on New Media, organised by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
The working lunch was aimed at fostering cooperation between the media, represented by 20 participants who had arrived in Beijing three weeks ago, and the embassy, as well as creating an interactive and open dialogue session between the two.
Deputy Head of Mission and Acting Ambassador, Madam Kumba Alice Momoh, in welcoming the Government Information Officers and mainstream journalists said, the doors of the embassy would always remain open to Sierra Leoneans, and that she was particularly happy hosting journalists, being a former broadcaster at the then Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (now Corporation).
Madam Momoh congratulated the team for going through three weeks intensive training session, which she said might have materialised as a result of the participants’ hard work and commitment
She encouraged them to go back home and “use the skills got to give Sierra Leone a voice” by creating awareness, informing and educating people “from a perspective that is not driven by the West or East but fuelled by the passion you have for the field of journalism…” and urged them to “add value to the country through the knowledge gained in China”
The platform media practitioners hold, she said, is well respected, but one that comes with great responsibility and expectations from the public. “You can make a difference to the wellbeing of Sierra Leone”, she said, while also calling on them to sell Sierra Leone positively for the good of everyone.
Also speaking was Head of Chancery/Minister Counsellor, Unisa Sahid Kamara. He underscored the crucial role that the media plays in national development, which he said should be properly executed if a country should advance.
Given the value that the Sierra Leone Government has for the media, he said, by 2007 Information Attachés were appointed to a number of the country’s embassies as well as journalists being appointed Government Ministers by the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.
Mr Kamara encouraged the team to do all they could to help in changing public perception about Sierra Leone since without accurate information people won’t be well informed about development in the country.
Austin Thomas, Team Leader, made a commitment, on behalf of the participants, return home and make an impact based on what they have gained from the training session.
He expressed the team’s appreciation to the embassy for hosting them, and highlighted the growth in diplomatic and people-to-people relations between Sierra Leone and China, thanking the Chinese and Sierra Leone Governments for facilitating the training seminar and giving assurances of doing all they could in changing the negative perception people have about the country.