The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), in collaboration with BBC Media Action Sierra Leone, on 8th September, 2016 hosted a sensitization workshop for newspaper Editors and radio Station Managers from across the country on the repeal of the criminal libel law.
The objective of the workshop was to get Editors and Station Managers up to speed with the progress of the Association in the fight for the repeal of the criminal libel law and to urge them to support the process. As gatekeepers in their respective media houses, SLAJ believes Editors and Station Managers have a very important role to play in the campaign against criminal libel law.
“We want Editors and Station Managers to be well placed to actively participate in the ongoing campaign for the repeal of the criminal libel law. We want them to be well equipped with the knowledge to serve as ambassadors who will defend and promote the collective position of SLAJ,” said SLAJ President, Kelvin Lewis.
Part V of the Public Order Act of 1965 criminalises free speech and freedom of expression, but SLAJ believes no journalist (and citizen of Sierra Leone) should be convicted for merely expressing his/her views.
SLAJ has been fighting for the repeal of the criminal libel law since it was established in 1971.SLAJ also took the opportunity to take the Editors and Station Managers through the reviewed SLAJ Code of Ethics and solicited their comments and inputs via email after the workshop.
The workshop was facilitated by Tonya Musa, acting head of Mass Communications Department at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone and Francis Sowa, IMC Commissioner and lecturer at the Mass Communications Department.
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