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Sierra Leone : IMC Chairman addresses journalists on World Press Freedom Day

9 May 2019 at 00:45 | 1819 views

By Emperor Bailor Jalloh, PV Freetown Bureau Chief

As ’World Press Freedom Day’ was globally celebrated, the Chairman of Independent Media Commission ( IMC) of Republic of Sierra Leone Mr. George S. Khoryama (pictured) has said in Freetown that efforts are in high gear for the Sierra Leone government to repeal the Criminal and Seditious Libel Laws in the 1965 Public Order Act as President Julius Maada Bio in his campaign and other official engagements including his parliamentary address on Thursday May 2,2019 has promised to write off the libel law and that IMC and other media institutions are in consultation with government in that respect.

Chairman Khoryama made this statement on ’World Press Freedom Day’ programme Friday May 3,2019 in the British Council Auditorium, Tower Hall, Freetown organised by the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists ( SLAJ) on the theme " Criminal Libel and Quality Journalism. "

He however, stated that for a country to be of any democratic value in the full sense and meaning of the word it needs to have a press that is brave, working without fear or favour by asking bold questions of men and women in power and these are just ideals of the media that the Criminal Libel Law exists to frustrate.

The IMC Chairman however cautioned journalists that freedom of the press does not mean freedom of the press men and women alone but freedom of the people as a whole.

" We should not as press men and women therefore have as our objects of defamation and character assassination those people out there because we have newspapers and/ or radio stations ; or because someone has paid us to do so. Quality and professional journalism calls for integrity, fairness, and excellent communication skills. We cannot afford the luxury to be spin-doctors" he cautioned.

IMC he said regulates the Sierra Leone media.