Monday, January 30, 2017

The battle to control social media in Sierra Leone

By KEMO CHAM in Freetown
[First published on] In November a magistrate court in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, arraigned two youngsters as part of an ongoing crackdown on social media activism.
The accused, including 20-year old university student Theresa Mbomaya, were held for posting “inciting statement” on Whatsapp. The case prompted mass protests and condemnation.
The Sierra Leone Government say a growing trend of misuse of social media has posed a national security threat and it wants to regulate its use.
But rights groups are questioning the intention.

When plurality strangles press freedom

By Kemo Cham
[First published on] By 2011 the Independent Media Commission (IMC) of Sierra Leone had registered 62 newspapers, 67 radio and five TV stations. That’s a major leap from just a decade earlier, when there was only one radio and one TV station nationwide, and a handful of papers.
With the current trend, according to the Commission, which regulates the media, the number of outlets combined is sure to have doubled, if not tripled, by 2018, an election year. Newspapers are expected to experience the biggest growth. One IMC official estimates that they will have reached at least 150, citing the frequency and number of applications received in a month.

Too many cooks spoil the broth

By Kemo Cham
[First published on] Here is a selection of the Monday August 8 edition of some of the leading newspapers in Sierra Leone. If you had all these there was more than 90% chance that you hadn’t missed any news of the day, or rather the week ending Friday 5th August.
Interestingly  though, none of these papers had anything on what was supposed to be one of the biggest news of the day – the death of one of the country’s most popular businessmen, Moseray Fadika.
Mr Fadika, a politician, was a presidential hopeful until his death the previous day. Two of these papers, as you can see, interestingly standout.

The law that’s hated by everyone, except politicians