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HomePress ReleasesSIERRA LEONE BROADCASTING CORPORATION FORMED BY AN ACT OF PARLIAMENT IN 2010....

SIERRA LEONE BROADCASTING CORPORATION FORMED BY AN ACT OF PARLIAMENT IN 2010. LOCATED AT BROADCASTING HOUSE, JOMO KENYATTA ROAD, FREEROWN, SIERRA LEONE, WEST AFRICA

PRESS RELEASE

RESPONSE TO ALLEGATIONS OF UNEVEN ACCESS TO THE SIERRA LEONE BROADCASTING CORPORATION (SLBC) BY THE MAIN OPPOSITION ALL PEOPLE’S CONGRESS

The Management of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC)is gravely concerned about unfounded claims that the national public broadcaster has denied access particularly to the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC). While responding to questions on Radio Democracy 98.1 FM Good Morning Sierra Leone programme broadcast on Monday 16 August 2021, Acting National Publicity Secretary, Mr. SidiYayah Tunis, alleged that for the past two years the SLBC has denied access to the APC to attend programmes hosted on SLBC, and that it has refused to cover events organized by the party.

These claims, made by a very senior member of the APC, are widely unfounded, baseless, andare a calculated political ploy to undermine the restored image of the broadcaster. These uncorroborated assertions were believed to have been made to hurt the growing credibility of the national broadcaster, insult its re-energized and dedicated audiences, and to create publicdisaffection for a medium that continues to provide unbroken live coverage of political and other national events, regardless of where they happen with limited and constrained resources.

Management is dismayed and frankly shocked at the inexcusable failure by Mr. Tunis to provide verifiable instancesof the press conference or any eventsorganized by the opposition APC that the SLBC has failed to cover. At no time has the SLBC management,the Independent Media Commission, or the Ministry of Information and Communications received a complaint from the leadership of the APC or any of its officials regarding these unsubstantiated claims.In fact, a mini documentary portraying dynamics of the APC internal politics, which features the party’s Secretary-General Amb. AlhajiFodayYansaneh and other senior party officials,has been produced by and broadcast on the SLBC.

“The SLBC remains a public forum. By its nomenclature and mode of operationsthe broadcaster providesdiscursive platforms that build a sense of national identity, generate national appeal and taste, strengthen our evolving democraticpolitical system, and while at the same time protect minority interest. Our role as a national broadcaster is to enrich our democracy, and we believe to have delivered on this mandate especially in the last three years in a manner appreciated by vast majority of our audience,” said Director-General of the SLBC, Joseph E.Kapuwa Esq.

The SLBC wishes it to be known that it has verifiable and incontrovertible data indicating access to the Corporation by members of the APC, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and women’s groups, including persons from all backgrounds. A brief list of some of the station’s activities and guests of its various programmes is annexed to this statement.

The Corporation also wishes to point out this important distinction that its coverage of activities of the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) should not be viewed with political lenses as it considers the GoSL (Parliament and the Judiciary inclusive) as the legitimate representative of the people of Sierra Leone and not as a political party.

The SLBC assures the general public of fair access to its professional, balanced, and accurate broadcasting of events across Sierra Leone regardless of where they happen, when they happen, who is affected, or in whose interest.

#END#

19th August, 2021

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