Salone News

George Khoryama and the IMC

15 January 2019 at 20:57 | 1439 views

Commentary

By Gibril Koroma, Toronto, Canada

Veteran Sierra Leonean journalist George Khoryama (pictured) was appointed last year by President Julius Maada Bio to head the country’s Independent Media Commission.

The IMC is a very important organization whose main function is to supervise and monitor the country’s media and to ensure that it adheres to a code of conduct that will be beneficial to all and sundry: the media institutions themselves and the general public..

Khoryama’s job is enormous responsibility in a country where a lot of journalists tend to clash with libel and slander laws, to put it simply. Almost daily.

Many of these journalists are freelancers who do not belong to any media house and are not members of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists.

Khoryama is a soft-spoken and humble man, a good Christian. But he knows when to be firm and strict. And he knows almost every journalist in the country, many on a personal level.

That helps because most of the challenges the IMC faces in its work with the media are resolved outside the courts, on a personal level. Many journalists in Sierra Leone see George Khoryama as an elder or father in the profession who can guide, advise and help them get rid of any problem they may have with members of the public including state functionaries.

Luckily, also, Khoryama will not be working alone. He will be heading a team of commissioners that consists of seasoned media professionals, lawyers and other men and women of experience in what they do.

I think Khoryama and his team are going to do a good job at the IMC because many of them are journalists and know the problems journalists face in Sierra Leone.

And they are also experts on the psychology of the "Salone" journalist.

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