VP calls for broader dialogue with SLAJ
July 22, 2019
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh has called for a broader dialogue with the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) in order to address the many challenges facing the media.
“We need a broader dialogue to address the institutional poverty of journalism. We have to look at how government will support the fourth estate without compromising it professionalism and independence,” he stated.
The vice president was speaking at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Freetown during the just concluded Triennial General meeting of SLAJ.
He stated that if the government is to provide support to improve the material conditions of established journalism, in return, they and the people of Sierra Leone will demand for professional standards.
He added that they wouldn’t want to invest in something that will take the country back to zero, but one that will yield positive returns, which is improved journalism.
“Our support or subvention will take the form of promoting journalists, building a press house, aggregating and federating printing materials together so that we will move away from individual journalist house having their own print to a collective big outfit,” the Vice President noted.
Vice President Dr. Jalloh opined that the partnership they are seeking with the media, especially SLAJ requires a mythological shift not a moral shift as they are not asking for a moral shift of the post but requesting one on how business is done.
He called for analytical journalism to follow through the government’s agenda because according to him, until journalists start going to schools and districts to interrogate the successes and challenges of the free quality education, it will be difficult to address all the challenges across the cycle.
”We should encourage the print media to attract capital investment in media houses,” he urged.