Bernadette Cole said Journalists had suffered a lot over the years in the process of executing their job. She however admitted that the persecution of journalists has been reduced considerably.
According to the President of Sierra Leone Association of Journalist (SLAJ), Kelvin Lewis ascertained that opinions and liberties are restricted by the country’s media regulatory laws most especially Part IV of the public order act of 1965 which criminalizes seditious libel. Speaking on the aforementioned law Lewis said that the president of the Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma is yet to fulfill his promise of repealing the public order act. He said freedom is not only for the journalists but for the entire populace, “that’s why we stand against banning social media” he furthered that restriction of their voices doing more harm than good, added that journalism is a profession and it takes an academic qualification to become one.
Chairman of the Independent Media Commission, Ambassador Allieu Kanu said they are in support of repealing Part IV of the public order act, he furthered that he had also suffered in making voices heard, as a result of that ‘’ I am in support of the fight for journalist ‘’ he stated as he pointed out that Mass Comm. has helped to reduce the work load as journalists are being trained professionally.
Professor M’bayo said the media problems in Sierra Leone were the same in America and Britain. He said solving these problems happened to be a difficult task as he referenced the words of John Adams who in 1815 submitted that ‘…the regulation of the press is the most difficult, dangerous and important problem they have to resolve’. The professor emphasized that journalists in America and Britain suffered more than Sierra Leone journalists.
He said to solve the problem the media has to be democratic, diversified, innovative and independent among other objective things.
The celebration brought together the president of the Sierra Leonean Association of Journalists, Chairman of the Independent Media Commission and other stakeholders were present to talk to the students about the day.