The American Embassy Freetown on Wednesday June 18th 2008 organized a one-day symposium for journalists, local council representatives, women and youth groups and civil society members in the East and South of the country at the Methodist Youth Resources Centre at Dambala road in Bo.
Speaking on the theme “Media practice in law,” Professor of Media Ethnics and Law Jane Kirtley of the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Minnesota USA told journalists that they must be honest and fair in their dealings and are expected to behave responsively.
Dr. Kirtley said freedom of information will make it possible for journalists to report accurately and balanced stories.
She said the criminal law and libel law was the colonial legacy that undermined democracy and good governance in Africa. Dr. Kirtley said the laws should protect journalists because of the important role they play in the development of democracy in any society. She cautioned the journalists not to limit themselves to the press conferences and workshops but should also practice investigative journalism during their career.
Earlier in his contribution the President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalist (SLAJ) Eastern Region Paul Kenei Joseph spoke on the primary responsibility of editors and managers of newspapers and radio stations in Sierra Leone. On behalf of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists he expressed his profound thanks and appreciation to the American Embassy for organizing the symposium and hoped that the embassy will look into the multiple problems affecting both the print and electronic media practitioners in Sierra Leone.
The vote of thanks was moved by the deputy station and production manager of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (SLBS 96.5 FM) BO Albert Rogers.
Also present at the symposium from Freetown were the Information and Media Assistant Ibrahim Tommy and Programme officer Marlin Kamara.