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Information Minister launches election coverage regulations for media practitioners

HomeNewsInformation Minister launches election coverage regulations for media practitioners

Information Minister launches election coverage regulations for media practitioners

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The Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray has officially launched the Print and Electronic Regulation 2022 and IMC Elections Coverage and Reporting Regulations at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Freetown.

It is hoped that these regulations would not only ensure fair coverage and reporting of events before, during, and after the June 24 General Elections but would ensure media houses give fair airtime/space to all players involved in the June election, ensure media practitioners provide accurate reporting and maintain ethical conduct during and after the June General Elections.

It would also provide space for complaints and penalties in an event media houses default.

The two Documents were designed and produced by the Independent Media Commission, with support from the European Union and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).

In his keynote address, the Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray, called for responsible journalism. He espoused that the Government of President Dr. Julius Maada Bio is committed to expanding the media space but cautioned that this should not be used as an excuse to promote reckless journalism.

“The media is not a platform to promote tribal and divisive messages, IMC and SLAJ must ensure a conducive media environment that promotes cohesion and factual dissemination of information to the public”, the minister said.

Dr. Victor Massaquoi, Chairman of IMC, said these regulations were done extensively in collaboration with partners in the media ecosystem and announced that the popularisation of the Regulations will soon commence.

In his remarks, the President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, welcomed the implementation of the Regulations, saying it would ensure fair and transparent reporting during the June Elections.

He commended the Government of President Dr. Julius Maada Bio for creating the enabling environment and ensuring the media thrives.

“Nobody will hide behind freedom of press or freedom of speech; we must ensure we report fact and accurate information. SLAJ will continue to protect the work of all journalists and support them in their work”. Mr. Nasralla assured.

Similar calls for institutional independence, fair, transparent and responsible reporting during the General Elections were made by representatives of NEW, IRN, EC-SL and Guild of Editors in their statements.

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