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Media
World Press Freedom Day 2015: The MFWA Calls for Professionalism, Gender Equality, and Digital Safety Awareness in the Media PDF Print E-mail
Media
Written by MFWA   
Monday, 04 May 2015 20:16

World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) is observed globally on May 3 in celebration of the importance of press freedom and media independence and pluralism. Today, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) joins the world in commemorating press freedom under this year’s theme: “Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality, & Media Safety in the Digital Age.” In accordance with the 2015 WPFD theme, the MFWA calls for increased independent, quality reporting by the media; women’s enjoyment of free expression and participation in public life in and through the media; and awareness of digital safety for journalists.

 

Independent and Quality Media

Since last year, the MFWA has regrettably recorded increases in unprofessionalism by the media in West Africa. Decreases in independent and quality reporting negatively impact the public’s trust in the media and consequently hurt the media’s ability to act as a watchdog. Moreover, independent and quality reporting can play a pivotal role in maintaining peace and stability. Conversely, unprofessional conduct can facilitate violence and other abuses—especially during election periods, which several countries in West Africa enter this year. The MFWA looks forward to continuing to engage the media on increasing media independence and quality journalism.

 

Gender and Media

Although important strides have been made towards improving women’s participation in public life, obstacles remain to West African women’s ability to both express themselves and participate in governance in or through the media. In Ghana, which has exemplary levels of civil and political rights protections in West Africa, the MFWA found underrepresentation of women as featured individuals, discussants, and moderators and in the share of women’s issues discussed on radio programmes.

Gender balance and equality in a particular media platform’s reports and programmes indicate that it is readily accessible to women. Such gender representation can, in fact, empower women to use the media as a vehicle for seeking, receiving, and imparting information about issues in their community. In turn, this helps promote good and sustainable governance and development. Due to the importance of empowering women, the MFWA has made efforts to increase women’s involvement in and through the media in West Africa.

 

Digital Safety for Journalists

Journalists in West Africa are frequently targeted for their work: they have been brutalised and even killed, threatened, detained, and otherwise silenced both online and offline. In 2014, the MFWA recorded two incidents of digital rights violations—one in The Gambia and one in Nigeria—but due to the more hidden nature of online (as opposed to offline) violations, other unreported violations may have occurred. As internet penetration continues to rapidly grow in West Africa and the rest of the world, it is increasingly important for journalists to engage in digital safety practices to protect themselves from violations of their digital rights. The MFWA has always monitored and reported on safety of journalists, including digital rights violations, and it hopes to see more gains in both offline and internet freedoms in West Africa this year.

 

MFWA’s Recommendations

Given the challenges remaining to achieving independent and quality reporting, balance and equality in women’s representation and participation in and through the media, and effective digital safety measures for journalists, the MFWA makes the following recommendations:

 

To Journalists and Media Houses:

  • Exercise professionalism and high ethics in investigating and reporting.
  • Refrain from spreading indecent campaign language and hate speech through reporting and programming, especially during election periods.
  • Fully and equally integrate women into media programming and newsroom decision-making to achieve gender balance and equality in media representation.
  • Develop a document to help journalists conduct risk assessments related to digital safety.

 

To Civil Society:

  • Capacity-build journalists on standards of professionalism and ethics.
  • Capacity-build women to use the media to engage in public debates.
  • Capacity-build journalists on safety of journalists, particularly digital safety.

 

To Governments:

  • Support professional development of the media through effective frameworks and resource allocation. 
  • Ensure that security forces understand and respect and protect journalists’ rights.
- See more at: http://www.mfwa.org/news.php?article_ID=493#sthash.peBzbRhM.dpuf

World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) is observed globally on May 3 in celebration of the importance of press freedom and media independence and pluralism. Today, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) joins the world in commemorating press freedom under this year’s theme: “Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality, & Media Safety in the Digital Age.” In accordance with the 2015 WPFD theme, the MFWA calls for increased independent, quality reporting by the media; women’s enjoyment of free expression and participation in public life in and through the media; and awareness of digital safety for journalists.

 

Independent and Quality Media

Since last year, the MFWA has regrettably recorded increases in unprofessionalism by the media in West Africa. Decreases in independent and quality reporting negatively impact the public’s trust in the media and consequently hurt the media’s ability to act as a watchdog. Moreover, independent and quality reporting can play a pivotal role in maintaining peace and stability. Conversely, unprofessional conduct can facilitate violence and other abuses—especially during election periods, which several countries in West Africa enter this year. The MFWA looks forward to continuing to engage the media on increasing media independence and quality journalism.

 

Gender and Media

Although important strides have been made towards improving women’s participation in public life, obstacles remain to West African women’s ability to both express themselves and participate in governance in or through the media. In Ghana, which has exemplary levels of civil and political rights protections in West Africa, the MFWA found underrepresentation of women as featured individuals, discussants, and moderators and in the share of women’s issues discussed on radio programmes.

Gender balance and equality in a particular media platform’s reports and programmes indicate that it is readily accessible to women. Such gender representation can, in fact, empower women to use the media as a vehicle for seeking, receiving, and imparting information about issues in their community. In turn, this helps promote good and sustainable governance and development. Due to the importance of empowering women, the MFWA has made efforts to increase women’s involvement in and through the media in West Africa.

 

Digital Safety for Journalists

Journalists in West Africa are frequently targeted for their work: they have been brutalised and even killed, threatened, detained, and otherwise silenced both online and offline. In 2014, the MFWA recorded two incidents of digital rights violations—one in The Gambia and one in Nigeria—but due to the more hidden nature of online (as opposed to offline) violations, other unreported violations may have occurred. As internet penetration continues to rapidly grow in West Africa and the rest of the world, it is increasingly important for journalists to engage in digital safety practices to protect themselves from violations of their digital rights. The MFWA has always monitored and reported on safety of journalists, including digital rights violations, and it hopes to see more gains in both offline and internet freedoms in West Africa this year.

 

MFWA’s Recommendations

Given the challenges remaining to achieving independent and quality reporting, balance and equality in women’s representation and participation in and through the media, and effective digital safety measures for journalists, the MFWA makes the following recommendations:

 

To Journalists and Media Houses:

  • Exercise professionalism and high ethics in investigating and reporting.
  • Refrain from spreading indecent campaign language and hate speech through reporting and programming, especially during election periods.
  • Fully and equally integrate women into media programming and newsroom decision-making to achieve gender balance and equality in media representation.
  • Develop a document to help journalists conduct risk assessments related to digital safety.

 

To Civil Society:

  • Capacity-build journalists on standards of professionalism and ethics.
  • Capacity-build women to use the media to engage in public debates.
  • Capacity-build journalists on safety of journalists, particularly digital safety.

 

To Governments:

  • Support professional development of the media through effective frameworks and resource allocation. 
  • Ensure that security forces understand and respect and protect journalists’ rights.
- See more at: http://www.mfwa.org/news.php?article_ID=493#sthash.peBzbRhM.dpuf

World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) is observed globally on May 3 in celebration of the importance of press freedom and media independence and pluralism. Today, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) joins the world in commemorating press freedom under this year’s theme: “Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality, & Media Safety in the Digital Age.” In accordance with the 2015 WPFD theme, the MFWA calls for increased independent, quality reporting by the media; women’s enjoyment of free expression and participation in public life in and through the media; and awareness of digital safety for journalists.

 

Independent and Quality Media

Since last year, the MFWA has regrettably recorded increases in unprofessionalism by the media in West Africa. Decreases in independent and quality reporting negatively impact the public’s trust in the media and consequently hurt the media’s ability to act as a watchdog. Moreover, independent and quality reporting can play a pivotal role in maintaining peace and stability. Conversely, unprofessional conduct can facilitate violence and other abuses—especially during election periods, which several countries in West Africa enter this year. The MFWA looks forward to continuing to engage the media on increasing media independence and quality journalism.

 

Gender and Media

Although important strides have been made towards improving women’s participation in public life, obstacles remain to West African women’s ability to both express themselves and participate in governance in or through the media. In Ghana, which has exemplary levels of civil and political rights protections in West Africa, the MFWA found underrepresentation of women as featured individuals, discussants, and moderators and in the share of women’s issues discussed on radio programmes.

Gender balance and equality in a particular media platform’s reports and programmes indicate that it is readily accessible to women. Such gender representation can, in fact, empower women to use the media as a vehicle for seeking, receiving, and imparting information about issues in their community. In turn, this helps promote good and sustainable governance and development. Due to the importance of empowering women, the MFWA has made efforts to increase women’s involvement in and through the media in West Africa.

 

Digital Safety for Journalists

Journalists in West Africa are frequently targeted for their work: they have been brutalised and even killed, threatened, detained, and otherwise silenced both online and offline. In 2014, the MFWA recorded two incidents of digital rights violations—one in The Gambia and one in Nigeria—but due to the more hidden nature of online (as opposed to offline) violations, other unreported violations may have occurred. As internet penetration continues to rapidly grow in West Africa and the rest of the world, it is increasingly important for journalists to engage in digital safety practices to protect themselves from violations of their digital rights. The MFWA has always monitored and reported on safety of journalists, including digital rights violations, and it hopes to see more gains in both offline and internet freedoms in West Africa this year.

 

MFWA’s Recommendations

Given the challenges remaining to achieving independent and quality reporting, balance and equality in women’s representation and participation in and through the media, and effective digital safety measures for journalists, the MFWA makes the following recommendations:

 

To Journalists and Media Houses:

  • Exercise professionalism and high ethics in investigating and reporting.
  • Refrain from spreading indecent campaign language and hate speech through reporting and programming, especially during election periods.
  • Fully and equally integrate women into media programming and newsroom decision-making to achieve gender balance and equality in media representation.
  • Develop a document to help journalists conduct risk assessments related to digital safety.

 

To Civil Society:

  • Capacity-build journalists on standards of professionalism and ethics.
  • Capacity-build women to use the media to engage in public debates.
  • Capacity-build journalists on safety of journalists, particularly digital safety.

 

To Governments:

  • Support professional development of the media through effective frameworks and resource allocation. 
  • Ensure that security forces understand and respect and protect journalists’ rights.
- See more at: http://www.mfwa.org/news.php?article_ID=493#sthash.peBzbRhM.dpuf

World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) is observed globally on May 3 in celebration of the importance of press freedom and media independence and pluralism.

Today, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) joins the world in commemorating press freedom under this year’s theme: “Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality, & Media Safety in the Digital Age.”

In accordance with the 2015 WPFD theme, the MFWA calls for increased independent, quality reporting by the media; women’s enjoyment of free expression and participation in public life in and through the media; and awareness of digital safety for journalists.

Read more...
 
West Africa: Increasing Incidents of Unprofessional Media Conduct Worrying PDF Print E-mail
Media
Written by MFWA   
Friday, 01 May 2015 17:25

Cases of unprofessional media conduct and consequent sanctions by the judiciary or media regulatory bodies have been on the rise in a number of West Africa countries in recent times.

The situation is particularly worrying as it has a great potential to roll back the gains made in press freedom over the years, erode public confidence in the media, and thus, negatively impact on the media’s capacity to effectively play their watchdog role.

While unprofessionalism remains a major challenge to media development throughout West Africa, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) is particularly concerned about trends in Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Ghana.

Read more...
 
Sierra Leone Alert: More media organisations fined for unprofessionalism PDF Print E-mail
Media
Written by Media Foundation for West Africa   
Friday, 24 April 2015 11:04

Following complaints by individuals, Sierra Leone’s media regulatory body, the Independent Media Commission (IMC) has sanctioned eight newspapers—Torchlight, Democrat, Africa Youth Voices (AYV), Arigbo, Owl, News Watch, Champion and Nation Business and Finance—and Radio New Song, for unprofessionalism.

The MFWA’s correspondent in Sierra Leone reported that the Torchlight, Democrat, Arigbo and AYV newspapers were each fined three million Leones (about US$675) for breaching the defamation principle and one million  Leones (about US$225) for the breach of the accuracy principle of the IMC Code of Practice.

The commission also fined the New Watch newspaper two million Leones (about US$450)  for breaching the defamation principle while the Owl and Champion newspapers, were each fined one million Leones for breaching the accuracy principle.

Read more...
 
ACC Versus Update Newspaper PDF Print E-mail
Media
Written by UPDATE Newspaper   
Tuesday, 31 March 2015 21:29

Staff of the Anti-Corruption Commission media outreach section yesterday 31 March visited the Update Newspaper to build a friendly working relationship.

  Head of the delegation who is also the head of the ACC’s Outreach Department, Glennis Fraser, said they are happy to build and foster a good working relationship with Update newspaper, including the entire media in Sierra Leone.

  Teaming up with the media makes sense and brings meaning to the fight against corruption, she said, and this teamwork is what they are trying to uphold and nurture.

Read more...
 
SLAJ PRESS RELEASE ON IMPERSONATION PDF Print E-mail
Media
Written by PRESS STATEMENT   
Sunday, 29 March 2015 22:12

It has come to the attention of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) that a certain unscrupulous individual has been using an Africell Sim Card 077-938-596 to impersonate our Secretary General Moses Kargbo.

The said individual has been calling senior SLAJ members informing them of an alleged SLAJ meeting at 8pm Thursday 26th March 2015.

The SLAJ executive wishes to completely dissociate itself from any such alleged meeting and to make it known to the general public that SLAJ has never held any general meetings at night.

Read more...
 
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Page 6 of 18

Editorial

26th IPRA Conference in Sierra Leone Ends on a High Note

The International Peace Research Association (IPRA) successfully held its 26th General Conference on ‘Agenda for Peace and Development: Conflict Prevention, Post-Conflict Transformation, and the Conflict, Disaster Risk and Sustainable Development Debate’ in collaboration with the 10TH Dealing With Disasters Series, Northumbria University (UK)and Sakarya University (Turkey) and  the University of  Sierra Leone at the Bintumani Conference Centre in Freetown, Sierra Leone from November 27 to 1st December 2016.

Read more...

Business News

Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank, speaks to The Worldfolio about the investment opportunities in Sierra Leone

John D. Okrafo-Smart, Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank, speaks to The Worldfolio about the investment opportunities in Sierra Leone and gives his insight into the banking landscape.

Excerpts shared by Sheriff Mahmud Ismail

The Government of Sierra Leone is placing great priority in improving the business climate, enhancing infrastructure and support to private sector development. In line with the government focus, the Central Bank is targeting price stability in support of economic recovery, enhancing monetary policy instruments and liquidity management and also limiting intervention in the foreign exchange market, which will be important to preserve foreign exchange reserves.

The above measures will help in the strengthening of the banking system to support financial intermediation. Commercial banks are thus poised to benefit and take advantage of the improved economic and business environment by offering better services to their customers, including loans and overdrafts and forex to import, thereby creating wealth and boosting government revenue.

Read more...

Media News

Two veteran Journalists, now in the United States have paid a courtesy call on Sierra Leone's Ambassador

Two very respected and veteran Journalists who are in the United States of America for various reasons have called on Sierra Leone’s Amr. Bockari Kortu Stevens not only to appreciate the work of the Embassy, but also to pay courtesy as protocol demands.

Mr. Rod Mac-Johnson, former Lecturer Fourah Bay College, former Director of Information Ministry of Information and Communications, Former Director Sierra Leone News Agency (SLENA), Former Chairman Independent Media Commission (IMC) and stringer French News Agency  etc. is on vacation and Mr. Cyril Juxon Smith Director Information and Communications House of Parliament, former Acting Director General Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (SLBS) and former UNESCO Media Consultant  is in the United States of America to attend the funeral of his father.

Speaking at the Ambassador’s residence on 4821 Colorado Avenue, Washington DC  Mr. Rod Mac-Johnson said “Thank  you Amr. Stevens for accommodating us in the middle of your tight schedule, and also to discuss with us in a homely spirit.

Read more...

Commentary

Dr. Tam Baryoh’s Only Crime!

Boris Johnson as a Journalist worked at The Times and Daily Telegraph newspapers. He edited The Spectator newspaper between 1999 and 2006. He was Member of Parliament for Henley from 2001 to 2008 and was also Mayor of London. He is a member of the Conservative Party and the current UK Foreign Secretary.

Nnamdi Azikiwe was to serve as the first president of independent Nigeria from 1963 to 1966. He opened and edited a number of newspapers in Ghana and Nigeria and later became an active politician. Obafemi Awolowo was a great Nigerian politician. He also was an active journalist and edited The Nigerian Worker, amongst other publications.

There is a clear link between politics and journalism though, there seems to be a very thin boundary, or perhaps, “a reflective door in the firewall, such that with time, politicians and journalists cross the line changing roles and moving from side to side,” argues Aminat Afolabi in a piece, titled ‘Politics and Journalism, the Interwoven Relationship between Them.”

Read more...

View Point

How and Why I endorse Julius Maada Bio for President?

I have

I have endorsed Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio for the SLPP presidential ticket in the March 7 2018 elections because I strongly believe in his project and ability to succeed as our next president if given the opportunity.  Perhaps I need to provide  some context as to how, when and why I took this decision.

Maada Bio is the second presidential candidate I have ever endorsed in Sierra Leone. The first was late president TejanKabbah during the campaigns in the 1996 general elections, which he won. I was then publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Expo Times, which won the best-selling newspaper award from the National Vendors Association that year. At the time, my newspaper was the largest circulation and most widely read newspaper in the country and my nearest competitors were For Di People and Concord Times. When the presidential election campaigns became heated and the battle lines were clearly drawn with the three front-runners, TejanKabbah of the SLPP, Karefa-Smart of the UNPP, and Thaimu Bangura of PDP (SORBEH), For Di People declared for and endorsed Karefa-Smart and the UNPP while Concord Times declared for and endorsed Thaimu Bangura and the PDP. Dr Prince Harding and Banda-Thomas then approached me to endorse and help TejanKabbah of the SLPP, who was then the clear frontrunner according to Opinion polls, to win the elections. 

Read more...

News - Press Release

EU Election Exploratory Mission meets Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

(MFAIC Press Office, 18th October, 2017). The European Union Election Exploratory Mission to Sierra Leone led by Head of European Union Delegation to Sierra Leone, H.E. Tom Vens has paid a working visit to the Minister, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara and Senior Management Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, at the Ministry’s office in Tower Hill, Freetown.

Ambassador Tom Vens stated that the EU Election Exploratory Mission is in Sierra Leone following an invitation by the Government of Sierra Leone for EU Electoral assistance, and to further discuss the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in facilitating EU Observer Mission for the March 2018 elections in the country. The EU Election Exploratory Missionas part of its mandate is in the country to draft and finalise the MOU with the Government of Sierra Leone through the Foreign Ministry.

Read more...

Society -Local News

The State of World Population 2017: Unchecked inequality and failure to protect the rights of poorest women could undermine peace and world’s development goals, new UNFPA report warns

• Only about half of the world’s women hold paid jobs

• Globally, women earn 77 per cent of what men get

• Three in five women worldwide lack maternity leave, many pay “motherhood penalty”

Freetown, SIERRA LEONE, 17 October 2017-Unless inequality is urgently tackled and the poorest women empowered to make their own decisions about their lives, countries could face unrest and threats to peace and development, according the The State of World Population 2017, published today by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

The costs of inequalities, including in sexual and reproductive health and rights, could extend to the entire global community’s goals, adds the new UNFPA report, entitled, “Worlds Apart: Reproductive Health and Rights in an Age of Inequality.”

Read more...

Development

U.S. Ambassador launches National Early Warning Systems Project, funded by USAID

On Wednesday, October 18, U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Maria E. Brewer, announced the official launch of the USAID West Africa-funded “Mitigating Election Violence through National Early Warning Systems” (NEWS) project and the inauguration of the National Elections Response Group in Sierra Leone.

Supported by $500,000 from USAID, NEWS is implemented by the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) in Sierra Leone. The focus is to monitor and identify potential electoral violence triggers and assist government and non-government organizations in Sierra Leone to better mitigate them.
The National Elections Response Group (NERG) is a partnership under the NEWS project, between WANEP, the Inter-Religious Council, the Campaign for Good Governance, government stakeholders, representatives from the National Electoral Commission, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Office of National Security (ONS) and a number of civil society organizations.

The primary objective of the National Elections Response Group (NERG) is to monitor the elections environment, develop, and recommend strategies and actions to relevant stakeholders with authority to implement necessary response actions to prevent escalation of tensions or incidence of violence for a peaceful 2018 election. Members of the NERG will work closely with WANEP, the Integrated Election Security Planning Committee under the ONS, Provincial and District Election Security Committees – PROSEC and DISEC with an extensive network of civil society organizations and with 60 community monitors across the country to identify potential risks of electoral violence.

Read more...

Politics

PRESIDENT KOROMA SAYS… “I am very proud of Ansumana Usman Koroma”

President Dr Ernest BaiKoroma has informed Sierra Leoneans that, “I am very proud that we have people like Ansumana. We need many more Ansumana Usman Koromas that will go out there as Ambassadors of our country, showing and telling a good story about Sierra Leone.”

Whilst speaking at his Presidential office in Freetown, President Koroma affirmed that, “I am very proud of Ansumana and I am encouraging him to do more by helping his people.”

Read more...
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