Barely two months after the launch of the Sierra Leone Media Code of Conduct for reporting the forthcoming elections, Mr. Unisa Sesay, the chairman of the Independent Media Monitoring and Refereeing Panel (I-MARP) set up to promote compliance with the media code, has declared that adherence to the Code so far is good.
Mr. Unisa Sesay, who is also Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Programme Manager of a Government-owned Commission, made the disclosure on UN Radio.
Sesay said Panel Members had been visiting media establishments in Freetown to dialogue on the content of the Code of Conduct with managers, program producers, editors and reporters.
Noting that media practitioners are aware of the content of the Code, he said the routine visits had further enhanced their understanding and responsibilities. “We have noticed that our colleagues have become very conscious of their responsibilities, because those journalists who are familiar with the electioneering situation in the country, know that by now, things would have been very hot in the papers”, Sesay said.
The Sierra Leone Independent Media Monitoring and Refereeing Panel for the 2007 electoral campaign is an outcome of extensive discussions which led to the signing of a Media Code of Conduct for the 2007 Parliamentary and Presidential Elections.
The code of conduct was developed by the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) with support from the United Nations Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).