The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) on Saturday 27th November 2021 successfully trained 32 media monitors from across the country at the Kakua Day’s Inn, Bo district with support from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
President of SLAJ, Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, said the monitors will be helping in investigating and documenting threats, arrests, assaults, and intimidations made against journalists across the country and SLAJ, in turn, will follow up on those issues and try to resolve them.
The monitors will be working closely with the newly appointed SLAJ Media Defence Network and the SLAJ Disciplinary Committee.
Nasralla advised the monitors to do their work with honesty, fairness, and accuracy, and they should be apolitical to ensure they give accurate reports on a daily and monthly basis so as to help SLAJ keep track of those cases particularly so when elections are around the corner.
During the course of the training, the monitors were taken through the SLAJ Code of Ethics, which will be a working guide to help them do their work, and electronic copies were shared among the monitors for reference purposes.
The monitors were also trained on ‘Understanding Media Monitoring Tools’ to help them perform their role as media monitors
The key areas of the SLAJ monitoring include:
• Appearance in Court
• Denial of bail
• Denied access to stories/ events
Meanwhile, SLAJ will continue to monitor local media coverage on corruption and government accountability programs as it has been doing together with defending journalists.
The Public Relations Officer of SLAJ, Princess Gibson, encouraged the monitors to give their best during the one-year period of the project, and that SLAJ relies on them to be giving monthly reports from the different locations they’ve been assigned to.