Opinion

Another rejoinder to Sylvia Blyden

7 May 2010 at 03:11 | 1114 views

By Chrstian Foday Sesay, Texas.

Sylvia Blyden, Editor of Awareness Times, has done it again! This time, fallaciously alleging that Abdul Tejan-Cole, Commissioner of ACC traveled to the Gambia with Bashiru Savage is not only laughable but mind boggling to know that someone who publicly claims to have been blessed with a very rich heritage could publicly stoop so low. What an Irony? How has the self-acclaimed fallen so low? It is sad. But what a shame!

History teaches that history teaches nothing! How long will it take for “Ms. Rich Heritage”, Sylvia Blyden, to learn that in the media, errors of omission can be as damaging or as misleading as errors of commission, and disregard for journalism principles does not only blight the picture of the profession but also result into social tensions in society?

This question resurfaces again as a matter of fact, reflected in the utter disregard to which Sylvia Blyden, consistently and in a manner reminiscence of the vicious Foday Sankoh style, utilizes sensationalism, defamation and inaccuracies to sow a seed of distrust in a nation that is yet to come to terms with the civil war and its devastation.

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The objective of this rejoinder is two fold. It seeks to refute Ms. Blyden’s baseless article which was designed with an ulterior motive and secondly to expose her once again for whom she is - a sorry, foul-mouthed and unprincipled so–called journalist who disseminates false news with the aim of selling advertisement space. Decent journalists don’t put their integrity on the line and trade their birth rights for pittance (COCO EBEH!) as the nation of Sierra Leone is witnessing.

To start with, and for your information, which evaded the ill-equipped radar of Ms. Blyden, be it known now that Commissioner Tejan-Cole did not go to the Gambia but transited through The Gambia en route to Dakar and this can be confirmed by Sierra Leone’s Immigration Department and ARIK airlines.

According to officials at the Lungi International Airport and ARIK airlines, the two gentlemen coincidentally met at the airport and happened to be traveling together on board the same flight. Common sense should tell you that Mr. Tejan-Cole does not have to disembark from the plane neither cancel his trip because Bashiru Savage is on board. While on board ARIK, the two did not even sit together. Mr. Tejan-Cole traveled in business class while Alhaji Savage was in economy.

Contrary to Ms. Blyden’s erroneous and sensational claim that the two men were seen playfully chatting with each other amidst smiles and sipping drinks before their flight arrived, Mr. Tejan-Cole had a drink while Alhaji Savage was without and the two spoke for less than two minutes. Also, according to officials, there were other people in the lounge going in and out freely as was incorrectly reported by Awareness Times. For most of the time Bashiru Savage was chatting with an SNA staff.

Early this morning, I spoke to a closed friend of Alhaji Bashiru Savage who lives in The Gambia. He told me that Mr. Tejan-Cole worked for Alhaji Savage many years ago before his assignment in South Africa. “Naturally, you will expect greetings and niceties whenever and wherever they meet. That is just how we do it. To further make any insinuations that are deceitful to the public is evil”, he added.

Amidst all these lies and concoction of truth perpetuated by Ms. Blyden and her entourage of “griots” (Praise singers), it is not scary to note that in the trench of Sierra Leone media landscape now lays a vicious pen sniper who is bent on breeding animosity into the environment. A journalist without the subtle refinements of integrity and credibility is doomed to tackiness. This kind of ill-practiced journalism is not entirely a result of ignorance or the lack of adequate facilities to gather and package information appropriately but in the case of Sylvia, it can be attributed to her mindset and personal agenda. The public is very much aware of the diabolic hands of Sylvia Blyden’s anti ACC machinery, and her attempts to taint the good reputation which Mr. Tejan-Cole has earnestly worked for all his life, will fall on the wayside.

The concern of moral pronouncement is one subject that has dogged Sylvia Blyden both past and present. The practices of journalism and communication are, thus, not shielded from some of the ethical questions that confront other lines of work. Accordingly, the issue of truth is very essential to the practice of journalism. Truth is so fundamental to the practice of journalism to the extent that all other essential considerations—reliability, accuracy, independence, equity, tenacity, and fairness, among others—are cumulatively and intricately linked with it or revolve around this central precept.

At this day and age, citizens in Sierra Leone need accurate and reliable information in order to make sensible decisions and the provision of this sacred information should be the ultimate consideration of Sylvia Blyden. Therefore, if she sees her primary duty as that of informing the public, she will place a high value on truth telling. When the truth is compromised, as is consistently the case of Sylvia, it may affect stakeholders differently within the media. Lying to readers has its implications. But the cumulative effect will be the loss of credibility. Sadly though, she does not have a clue.

The peace process in Sierra Leone is too fragile to be threatened by Ms. Blyden. The nation can’t afford to be drawn into her constant saber rattling. I therefore call on the Government and People of Sierra Leone, the Independent Media Commission, all media outlets, members of the Diaspora communities and all other stakeholders not to sit on the fence and watch Sylvia throw us into another Armageddon. Step up en masse to put a stop to this menace before she sells our nation again to the devils of war. The signs of an impending danger are visibly written on the wall for all to see.

It therefore, behooves Sylvia Blyden to be abreast with findings in all areas and to check and report what is truthful instead of been engulfed in the destruction of Sierra Leone. Ms. Blyden, the ball is in your court. You can either choose to report accurately without prejudice and join other credible and respected publishers or continue with your mudslinging wahala. (Drama)

Until then, Sierra Leoneans are sick and tired of your biased reporting.

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