In its bid to promote media pluralism and democracy and the free flow of information, the Independent Media Commission (IMC) has cautioned the media houses owned by the APC and SLPP to use their media to convince the populace in a very civilized way for the presidential run off on September 8.
As the IMC was established by an Act of parliament to regulate the media in the country, it has been highlighted by the Commission that even though it has been appealing to these media houses to exercise restrain in the publication and broadcast of articles and statements that are likely to cause panic and fear, these media continue to disseminate hate messages.
These various radio stations have been using their news organs to abuse personalities of different parties and this will create hate, intimidation, public unrest and threats to peace and stability.
“So therefore we will not sit idly by and allow the peace process to be derailed by some sections of the media,” the Commission states.
Press freedom, the Commission goes on, “is not synonymous with reckless criticisms, assassination of the character of individuals and total disregard for media law and ethics.
The IMC urges the stations and newspapers that if such continues, then the Commission will have no alternative but to suspend their licenses.
Also the IMC has condemned the publication by the Unity newspaper headlined “conspiracy to defraud Sierra Leonean mouths, Carlos Valentia exposed”.
Therefore, the IMC condemns the attack on the UN Special Representative Victor Angelo, the chief technical adviser at NEC, Carlos Valentia, Andrea Reidy of the British High Commission and Douglas Addison of the World Bank as such innuendos will have negative impact between the international community and Sierra Leone.
Although the article, according to the Commission, reflects the views of the author and not the newspaper, it therefore views the article with disfavor and that the editor bears the full responsibility for everything that is published in his newspaper.
“The IMC takes this opportunity to appeal to all media organizations to refrain from publishing or broadcasting any matter that is likely to be offensive or promote disaffection, ill-will and hatred.”