The Chairperson of the Independent Media Commission (IMC) Dr Bernadette Cole said that her organization does not have a reporting role and that the responsibility of reporting lies with the media.
The Commissioner maintained that the media has a pivotal role in reporting justice and therefore there are certain areas the journalist should take into consideration when reporting justice and this includes what should be reported and what to report for.
She added that in reporting justice, the journalist should highlight some of the issues relating to the people bearing in mind who to report for as this will be for all segments of the apparatus including aged, youth as well as the marginalized.
Mrs Cole stressed that youths can be engaged in expert columns and the language should be written in simple and plain language in order for them to understand the justice system.
The IMC Commissioner highlighted some of the medium of communication which are the traditional medium including drum, village criers and drummers.
In his statement, the President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) Philip Neville said that it is very crucial in reporting justice as the vocabulary used in court is not well known by journalists.
In order for journalists to engage in this type of reporting the president said they [journalist] need to learn the language of the court and this can be done either through seminars “or trainings like this type, or interaction with people that matters.”
In reporting justice Mr Neville said it is important that the interest of the public be taken into account and they should be cautions in reporting rape cases as it damages the image of the victim in the future if they are exposed.
Giving an overview of the Justice Sector Coordinating Office (JSCO) Sarah Lewis the coordinator said that the delay and inefficiencies in the justice system relate to the limited levels of cooperation, communication and coordination between institutions and this saw the establishment of the organization.
Ms Lewis further highlighted the role of the JSCO which is to develop an efficient, effective, impartial and accountable justice sector that meets the needs of all communities in the country and also to strengthen access to justice and improve service delivery.
The Justice Sector Development Programme (JSDP) on Tuesday engaged members of the fourth estate in reporting justice in the country at the Mamba Point.
By Betty Milton