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Information Minister Urges SLAJ To Reflect On Issues Pertinent To Press Freedom And Professionalism
Juliana Vandy
/ Categories: NATIONAL NEWS

Information Minister Urges SLAJ To Reflect On Issues Pertinent To Press Freedom And Professionalism

Information Minister Urges SLAJ To Reflect On Issues Pertinent To Press Freedom And Professionalism

By: Juliana Vandy

Strategic Communications Unit, MIC

The Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray, has called on the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) to reflect on issues pertinent to press freedom and professionalism.

He was speaking at the opening session of the Golden Jubilee (50 Years) celebration of SLAJ at the Galliness Hotel in Bo city on Friday, 4th June 2021.

Minister Swaray said his ministry promotes the free flow of information between government and the media, adding that his government will continue to work towards fostering a free, independent and pluralised media.

"A free and independent media enhances freedom of expression and contributes to the development of society," he underscored.

The Minister described this year's theme, "Looking inwards towards a strong and united SLAJ and a free and professional media" as apt, and asked SLAJ members to take advantage of the meeting by reflecting on issues pertinent to press freedom and ethical conduct.

He noted that President Julius Maada Bio remains clear about his vision for the media in Sierra Leone, in which media practitioners and government collaborate to foster development.

"The President considers the media as an indispensable ally in efforts of transforming the country. He has consistently promoted policies for press freedom as well as the safety of journalists and believes that a free press has to be anchored in professionalism and sound ethical practices."

Mr Swaray admonished journalists to be mindful of how they enjoy the provision of freedom of expression given by the

1991 constitution, citing the 1994 Rwanda genocide as an example of abuse of press freedom.

The Minister encouraged media practitioners to exercise their free speech responsibly, noting that both the media and government have only one Sierra Leone whose interest they all have the responsibility to protect. 

He reiterated his ministry's continuous efforts in renewing and reinforcing partnerships with the media as they accelerate the socio-economic and political development of the country.

He disclosed that the ministry with directives from President Bio is presently working with the Ministry of Finance to provide support for community radio stations with regards fuel, relevant trainings and transportation to enhance their functionality.

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