President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, has called on journalists across the country to give back to society in the form of ethical, professional and patriotic practice.
Speaking last night on the occasion of the 9th Independent Media Commission (IMC) National Media Awards 2021 ceremony at Radisson Blu, Aberdeen Freetown, Nasralla used the scriptures to remind journalists about their sacred responsibility to the nation.
“Mr. Chairman, the Bible says in Luke12:48 ‘… For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
“In my view, when we look at these scriptures in the context of the repeal of the criminal libel law, it means that society has given us what we asked for. Now it is time for us as journalists to give back to society.
“Our country today is at crossroads. If it is not police killing unarmed civilians, it is parliamentarians fighting in Parliament. If it is not civilians burning down houses in revenge, it is Okada Riders in street fights with the police. All of these are serious challenges facing our country today. It’s like our country is on the edge again.
“And as journalists, we must be concerned and we have a role to play in all of this. But we can only play this role if we practice professionally. We cannot be partisan in reporting the fighting in Parliament. If we do, we will only be pouring petrol in the fire. And this is the same for all the conflicts raging presently. We must be very careful in the way we report so that we do not by our reports inflame passions and drag this country into conflict again. Sierra Leone is the only country we have and it is our sacred duty to protect it,” said Nasralla.
Read the full statement: