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23rd July 2018

Media Reform Group Presents State of the Media Reports to the Information Minister

By Juliana A. Coker, (16/06/18)

The Media Reform Coordinating Group (MRCG) has presented the 2015/16 Media Reports to the new Information Minister.

 

Reports say MRCG, a Media Development Agency in Sierra Leone, handed over these reports on Monday June 11 2018 to Sierra Leone's new Minister of Information and Communications Mr. Mohamed Rahman Swaray aka Rado at his Youyi Building Office in Freetown. (Vendors in Sierra Leone).

Receiving the reports, Minister Swaray expresses delight for the MRCG visitation and assures them of his Ministry’s commitment to working with them and also ensures that they achieve the plans of the New Direction agenda of President Julius Maada Bio.

He said as a Ministry they hope to create a reformed, responsible and professionally coordinated media to fit in the 21st Century. He noted that the media is a vital instrument of governance, adding that a government cannot do without the support of the media. (Photo: MRCG officials).
 


He pledged government’s commitment in ensuring that the media operates on a free and level platform. He however cautioned that the media handles issues professionally and encouraged journalists to ensure they publish balanced stories.

Minister Rado said government under the leadership of Julius Maada Bio has done a huge campaign for the repeal of the Seditious Libel Law and will as well support the School of Journalism not as a favour to the media, but to ensure they are given the importance due them in society as reliable government partners for the accurate dissemination of information to the public.

He stated that it is part of government‘s plan to work with the Media Development Agency on investment and business plans. He assured the visiting team that as a government they are in readiness to work with MRCG and will also look at the reports carefully and ensure actions are taken to address issues affecting the development of the media in Sierra Leone.

According to the Minister, the government is expecting to see a very responsible and professional media that will respect the privacy of people and provide balanced stories for public consumption. He emphasized the government’s commitment to creating a viable and conducive environment for the media.

Prior to the presentation of the report the Chairman of Media Reform Coordinating Group (MRCG) Francis Sowa congratulated the Minister and his Deputy for their appointmenta adding that it was one of the reasons for their visitation.

Giving a background of MRCG, he said the group was established in May 2014 to strengthen democratic dialogue, consolidate peace and ensures development through professional, independent and sustainable media based on the right to freedom of speech. He added that it was established to ensure a credible, economically viable and well focused media in Sierra Leone.

Francis Sowa stated that the establishment of the group which comprises of nine organisations was part of the media development strategy that came about as a result of study that was conducted in 2013 to map out the capacity needs of the media in Sierra Leone.

Highlighting the main objectives of the group, Mr. Sowa mentioned the improvement of media works, through self regulatory framework, handling media complaints, providing a sustainable and independent public broadcast and to strengthen professionalism, sustainability of organizations and improve participation in the media development and contents.
 

He disclosed that MRCG with support from United Nations Development Programme UNDP has been able to work on various projects including the review of the media law in Sierra Leone.

According to Mr. Sowa, the group has harmonised the various documents relating to media laws in the country, part of which was submitted to the CRC for a possible inclusion in the Constitution of Sierra Leone and the other to be tabled as a bill in parliament.

He further disclosed that very soon the country will have the first set of PhD Graduates in the Mass Communication Department of Fourah Bay College, the University of Sierra Leone. He concluded with the symbolic handing over of the state of media report to the Minister of Information and Communications Mohamed Swaray.

Courtesy: By Juliana Adama Coker, Ministry of Information and Communications

TRIBUTE: ALPHA SHAW


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