MRCG Urges submissions on state of the media

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State of the Media in Sierra Leone- 2018-2021 Media practitioners, academics, and interested and qualified members of the public are invited to contribute articles for publication in the 5th edition of The State of the Media Report SERIES (SMRS) managed by the Media Reform Coordinating Group and the Faculty of Communication, Media and Information Studies, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone.

Academics, including doctoral students, working in the area of media and journalism, and related fields as listed in the themes of the call below, in all universities in Sierra Leone are particularly encouraged to send contributions to this call.

The State of the Media Report seeks to capture progress and challenges in media development in Sierra Leone – practice, performance, state-media relations, regulations, management, ethics, etc. – in the past years, but with a primary focus on 2018-2021. SMR (2021) will highlight the challenges as well as the prospects for media development and professionalism in contemporary Sierra Leone.

Themes Laws, Regulations and Freedom of Expression Media Management and Business Journalism  Media and Governance (Reporting Human Rights, Peace building, and Corruption etc.)  Media and Development Social Media, Media and Gender Dynamics Media Ethics Media Performance Media practitioners and media scholars will contribute scholarly articles under the above themes.

The themes presuppose critical issues that have historically posed threats to media freedom, responsibilities and performance but have also created opportunities for progress and prospects for a more enabling environment for media practice and professionalism in Sierra Leone.

The report is written for the general public. However, public policy makers, state functionaries, civil society organizations, academics, and students of mass communication and journalism will find it very useful as a significant contribution to the scarce literature on the media in Sierra Leone.

This edition of SMR will have the following sections: Contributors may choose to write under any of the above themes. The article should address one of the following issues:  Media Laws and Regulations: Updates of both statutory and self-regulatory matters pertaining to the media. 

New Developments in Media Management: Understanding sustainability, viability and profitability of media organisations in Sierra Leone.

 The effects of social media on society, the media landscape and possible impacts on the operations of traditional media institutions. 

The media’s compliance with ethical codes and principles, the challenges faced doing so and improving professionalism in the media landscape.

 Assessments of media performance relative to selected critical and ethical issues that continue to pose challenges for media practitioners.

 Views from the public, state functionaries, civil society organizations, etc., about critical issues of the day and how the media have collectively, or individually, performed in the year under review.

Gender Dynamics: Global women’s struggles and empowerment, and their media manifestation in the Sierra Leone context; new challenges and/or new opportunities and prospects. Reporting Domestic Violence and rape. 

Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Press: The Repeal of part 5 of the Criminal libel Law, Cyber Security, and Access to information  Reporting Corruption: Investigating and writing about Corruption in high public places  Media and Development: Reporting the monitoring of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Medium Term Development Plan in Sierra Leone.

 Media, Human Rights, and Peace building: Reporting human rights protection and/or violations in Sierra Leone.

Reporting national cohesion and/or conflict, and peace building in Sierra Leone Business Journalism: Writing about business, corporate affairs, corporate social responsibility, personal finance, and consumers in Sierra Leone Requirements & Specifications 1. Name and Institutional Affiliation 2. Phone/Email 3. Length of Paper: 1,500 – 2,000 words (5-7 pages) in MS Word 4. Times New Roman 12 points; double-spaced 5. Research, and evidence/fact based submissions with clearly defined methodological and theoretical frameworks will be advantageous in evaluating the contributions. 6. References and citations are required.

Deadlines: Abstracts: 150-word abstract due 25th March 2022 Final Papers: 15th April 2022 SUBMISSIONS: Please send your submissions and inquiries to: Dr. Ibrahim Seaga Shaw C/O Faculty of Communication.

SLP signs MOU with UN women

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As we are still in the mood of celebrating and promoting the development of women, locally and internationally, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr Ambrose Michael Sovula, on behalf of the Sierra Leone Police on Wednesday 16th March 2022, at Police Headquarters, George street, Freetown, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UN Women.

In her brief but punchy statement, the head of UN Women in Sierra Leone, madam Setcheme Mongbo said that she was so happy to actively participate in the signing of that MoU as it establishes collaboration between the SLP UN Women in the Barrier Assessment Research Project for the SLP.

The objective of the Barrier Assessment Research Project is to determine the gaps and challenges of the institution towards interested and meaningful participation of women in Peace Support Operations from the SLP and to propose a clear path on how to make progress in the deployment of women to multinational UN Peace Support Operations.

The SLP will collaborate with UN Women in the implementation of three elements of the measuring opportunities for women in Peace Support Operations which will include establishing a fact finding form involving statistical data and institutional policies about the SLP, elite interviews and representative survey involving about 380 personnel within the force.

Eventual report shall be reviewed by both parties who will provide written input to support the development of recommendations and good practice initiatives.

“A worthy venture I have been identified to be part of, which will create a clear pathway for women in Peace Support Operations in this country” she stated.

Madam Mongbo, on behalf of the UN Women expressed her appreciation to the IGP for his leadership consideration of women at strategic positions in Sierra Leone Police (SLP).

She was particularly concerned about capacity building and development orientation for women in the SLP.

She concluded by appealing to the IG and his management team to always create a fair, equal and gender balance opportunities for both men and women in the institution.

In his response, our Inspector General of Police, Dr. Ambrose Michael Sovula started by appreciating and applauding women with the following words “this is women’s season and the 21st century speaks volume about women, with this, the SLP will fully partner with UN Women”

The IG went further to assure the delegation that the SLP will do the needful for the UN Women to achieve their goal.

In demonstrating his passion and concern for women in the institution, the IGP was very quick to inform the Head of UN Women and team that he has a Deputy Inspector General who is a woman and a good number of women are holding strategic positions in the SLP.

Dr. Sovula concluded by saying “we are happy to partner with UN Women”

Freetown Hosts Zurich Team: Both Cities Continue to Work on Freetown’s CBD Regeneration

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Work to #TransformFreetown continued today as Mayor Aki-Sawyerr, Deputy Mayor Osman T Koroma, CA Festus Kallay and the team from FCC met with a team from the city of Zurich to finalise the city-to-city cooperation project, which will focus on the regeneration of Central Business District (CBD) of Freetown. Also present at the meeting were representatives of the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Planning and Development and SLRA.

The team from Zurich – made up of Craig Hatcher, an advisor specialising in urban development working for Helvetas, and Jonas Hunziker an urban planner working for Ernst Basler + Partner – have spent the last week in Freetown to identify a locally-based Cooperation Partner for the city-to-city partnership.

The city-to-city cooperation between Zurich and Freetown started in 2019 when Zurich’s Mayor, Corine Mauch and Freetown’s Mayor, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr declared their mutual intention to share experiences and develop concrete solutions, whilst contributing to the achievement of SDG 11.

Over the years, Freetown’s CBD has become a less and less attractive destination for commercial and diplomatic headquarters with high levels of traffic congestion, limited walkability and uncontrolled parking. Consequently, the area bounded by Malama Thomas Street,  Garisson Street, Wallace Johnson Street, Siaka Stevens Street and Percival Street has been identified for regeneration.

Through the city-to-city cooperation project, FCC and other partners in the Project Implementation Unit will:

•        Improve street lighting, as well as footway widening and repairs

•        Undertake landscaping and city beautification

•        And implement a controlled parking zone

Today’s meeting also involved discussions about pilot phase of the project, which will commence later this year and be completed by mid-2023. Once the pilot phase is complete, the rest of the project will be rolled out over a 4-year period with a budget contribution of USD2.5 million from Zurich.

Motor Drivers Union Executive Meets SLRSA Director

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In a bid to maintain sustainable relationship between the SLRSA and the Motor Drivers Union, Executive Members of the Motor Drivers Union on Wednesday 16th March 2022 led by their Vice President Mr. Momodu Koroma, Met with the newly appointed Executive Director Reverend Smart K. Senesie and a cross section of the Management of the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority.

Explaining the purpose of the visit, The National Secretary General of the Motor Drivers Union Mr Komboh Koroma emphasized the importance of the Motor Drivers Union in the revenue generation drive of the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority. He disclosed that the Motor Drivers union in Sierra Leone are both Drivers and Owners of Vehicles. He appealed to the Executive Director to strengthen the relationship between the SLRSA and the Motor Drivers Union.

The Motor Drivers Union presented key challenges facing the union including the poor management of the passenger Manifest, “Rampant checks “from Road Safety Corps and Police, Lack of recognized stops for passengers, Tickets fines and cost of towing among others.

Responding, The Executive Director Reverend Smart K. Senesie, thanked the Motor Drivers Union for the Visit and assured them of a cordial working relationship during his tenure. He encouraged them to always call on him when necessary. The Executive Director, Reverend K.Smart Senesie proposed the Formation of an Eight man Committee to be chaired by the Deputy Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority Mr James Baggie Bio and called on the union to nominate four people to serve in the committee. He disclosed that, the committee would look into the concerns raised by the union and come up with recommendations to address all the challenges and other related issues being faced by the Union.

The Executive Director assured the Union that he would improve the performance of Drivers and was hopeful of a better relationship between the SLRSA and the Motor Drivers Union.

Earlier, The Director of Safety and Enforcement, Mr Augustine Kaitongi gave a background of the circumstances leading to the current situation of the Passenger Manifest but however assured that, the Eight Man Committee would look into the issues and come up with solutions.

The Deputy Executive Director Mr James Baggie Bio and the Company Secretary Mr. AbuBakarr Sheriff Esq were also part of the meeting.

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