As part of their efforts to continue providing quality services to Sierra Leone, the Veteran Journalist Union has on Tuesday 12th June met with the Minister of Information and Communications at his Office 8th floor Youyi building Freetown.
Explaining the purpose of the meeting, the Chairman Veteran Journalists Union Commissioner Christo Williams on behalf of the Veterans congratulated the Minister and his Deputy on their appointment. He said the Ministry of Information was established to handle media issues, with the Independent Media Commission (IMC) as a regulatory body to deal with the regulatory framework of all Information and Communications affairs.
Giving a background of the Union, he noted that the main purpose of forming the Union is to mentor young journalists. Focusing on the specialization of journalists in various fields of reporting, he stated that as long serving journalists they believe they still have something to offer.
They did not form the Union only to seek the welfare of Veterans, but also to improve the quality of news reporting.
Secondly, VEJU members will be mentoring upcoming journalists in various media houses and institutions. In this light he said, they have programs in store like going back to edit some of these newspapers. He appealed to government to assist in funding some of their projects in essence, enabling them to do the necessary contributions to the profession and the country as a whole.
Highlighting some of their planned activities, Christo Williams pointed out that VEJU will be holding a photo exhibition in December 2018 and these photos will include pictures of great warriors.
Other members of the Union made contributions, most of which was centered on the repeal of the seditious libel law.
On behalf of the Veterans Journalists Union, the Vice Chairman Unisa Sesay handed over their constitution to the Minister of Information and Communications Mohamed Rahman Swarray.
The Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swarray appreciated the efforts of the veteran Journalists, stressing that even though they had retired; they were able to organize themselves to an extent that, they still think they can offer something good to Sierra Leone.
He commended them for their generosity in helping to improve the quality of young journalists by building up their capacity in terms of professional reportage and the respect for others in the execution of their duty.
He stated that, the Ministry having met with SLAJ, MRCG and other media institutions, clearly set out the trajectory of its work plan regarding the media, some of which he said , cannot be achieved without a good mentoring.
Mohamed Swarray called on practicing journalists to see the move of the Veterans Union as their fallback, adding that, they should be the ones supporting and propelling the veterans to action. He urged upcoming Journalists to prepare themselves to join the queue.
The Minister lauded the idea of the proposed Photo exhibition by Veterans, noting that it would help children to know the heroic figures in their country and also empower them on civic education as well.
He encouraged the Union to work in collaboration with the National museum on the exhibition project. He disclosed that the Ministry of Information and Communications has tabled a bill of Archive in Parliament, which if passed into a law, will make provisions for the storage of historic monuments that will in turn influence our children on their civic education.
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Information Directorate Public Relations Team