By Philip Makavore
Guild of Editors has on Monday 24th January 2022, held a consultative and reformative meeting with Editors and Managing Editors at the Council of Churches Sierra Leone (CCSL).
The discussions were centered on the hiking prices of printing materials and the planning for the next Annual General Meeting (AGM), which will be held this year.
In her opening remarks, the chairperson Madam Yeama Thompson thanked MRCG and Guild of Editors for organizing the reformative and consultative meeting, noting that newspapers are facing lots challenges due to financial constraints. She said it very difficult now for media houses to secure advert. She encouraged more women to be part of the Guild of Editors.
The Board of Chairman, MRCG, Dr. Victor Massaquoi said Editors are the gatekeepers of the highest standard and it’s the responsibility of editors to ensure that they propagate freedom of expression and also capacitate reports of media houses. He maintained that at the end of the engagement, the Guild of Editors will review their governance structure so that they can be effective and efficient. He went on to say that Editors are vital personalities, adding that they scrutinize what to publish and not to publish. He encouraged the Guild of Editors to do peer-reviewed on a regular basis, noting that it will promote professionalism and standards. He went on to say that it will also capacitate young editors and reporters.
According to the Chairman of IMC Mr. Robert Koyama the media especially the print is undergoing a crucifixion in the face of social media that has stolen the glamour of newspaper journalism. He said the once dominance forces of newspaper journalism has been watered down by online demand. He added Sierra Leonse’s democracy requires institution like the Guild of newspaper Editors that respond and sustain the development of good governance, values of global best practices. He went on to say that IMC is presently working with 47 active newspapers out of 217 registered newspapers nationwide. He maintained that the Guild of Editor has stood tall to promote participation in national dialogue on developmental issues.
The President of the Guild of Editors, Mr. Theo Harding thanked MRCG, executive members of the Guild of Editors and participants for the support and for attending the reformative and consultative dialogue. He disclosed that the Guild of Editors plays important roles to set the agenda for public discussions, noting that editors play an important role in shaping political reality. He added that what is currently dominating headlines in the media is zoning power rotation, painting opposition as well as ethnic and regional sentiment. He cautioned editors not to allow politicians to set the agenda or dictate to them, noting that they should be held accountable.
The Minister of Information, Mohamed Rahaman Swarray said everyone with android phone is now a journalist. He appealed to the chairman of the Guild of Editors to ensure they promote and maintained professionalism. He assured SLAJ that he will endeavor to lobby for the Ministry of Finance to send their subversion which H.E. President Bio promised to give to SLAJ. He went on to say it about time they started consolidating media house for professional and ethical publication.