13 August 2009

Sierra Leone: SLAJ Chair Cautions Kenema Journalists

Freetown — Chairman of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists eastern region has admonished media practitioners in the district to remain focused on their duties and responsibilities as the ethics of the profession demands.

Mohamed Vandi reminded his colleagues that journalists are expected to work in the interest of the country and people and therefore should not allow politicians to influence their professional work.

"From the look of things there are indications that some unscrupulous politicians intend to use certain journalists to achieve their selfish desires," he observed.

Mr. Vandi described the development as unfortunate, stating that Sierra Leoneans and the international community rely on the media for proper dissemination of information and for exposing the corruption practices of some officials. He said people also look up to the media to speak out against human rights and other violations in the society.

Vandi said members of SLAJ are expected to work in the interest of the association and therefore should not encourage any group of political interest with the intent of causing disaffection among its members.

"We are journalists and by our profession we stand to question the negative attitudes of people within our society. We do not need politicians to influence us in carrying out this responsibility," he said, adding that he was impressed with the performance of media practitioners in the region.

He called on his colleagues to continue the good work.

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