A delegation from the Commonwealth Secretariat on Thursday visited the Independent Media Commission (IMC) at the regulatory body's head office on Siaka Stevens Street in Freetown. The Commonwealth Secretariat pre-election fact finding team led by Ms. Clara Cole was in the country to assess preparations for the November 17 elections.
Updating the Commonwealth delegation, IMC Chairman Rod Mac-Johnson said the commission has been preparing the media to contribute effectively to a successful election since March last year. He said the preparation includes organizing training programmes on electoral reporting and profiling female candidates.
According to the IMC boss, the training focused on the importance of upholding best international practices including high professional ethical standards by avoiding inciting, provocative and inflammatory messages.
He spoke of the efforts made by the commission to perform its statutory functions of monitoring and regulating the media and constraints posed by delays in amending the IMC Act and Code of Practice.
The IMC chairman also disclosed the commission's plans to launch a strategic plan and the Geographical Positioning System (GPS) maps this month.
One of the IMC commissioners, Augustine Garmoh, spoke of the pending visit of the commission to assess the level of preparedness of community radio stations for elections coverage.
In his contribution, Commissioner Mohamed Samoura explained the composition of the commission and its efforts to ensure compliance with the IMC Code of Practice.