Monday, August 8, 2016

Sierra Leone Govt warns foreign journalists

Mohamed Bangura, Minister of Information and Communication

The Sierra Leone government has announced a new policy aimed at regulating the operation of foreign media practitioners in the country.
The Ministry of Information and Communication said Tuesday henceforth all foreign media practitioners must obtain an accreditation to engage in any work in the country. Information Minister Mohamed Bangura said the move is meant to protect both the image of the country and the visiting media practitioners.
A statement signed by his deputy, Cornelius Deveaux, said the ministry had realized that foreign media practitioners came into the country “under the gist” of carrying out professional journalistic activities without going through the proper channels. It added that these foreign media practitioners, aided by local journalists, go around the place filming and taking pictures of slums and other unpleasant areas without talking to the authorities.
“At the end of the day they produce reports that paint a negative picture of the country, its people and the government, at a time when all efforts are being made to rebrand the country,” the statement reads.
Journalists and other media practitioners wanting to visit Sierra Leone will now be required to first write a letter to the Information Ministry explaining the intent and purpose of their assignment in the country, and accompany such a letter with a photocopy of their passport and two passport-sized photos.
The statement also ordered all foreign media practitioners currently in the country to report to the Deputy Minister within the next 48 hours of the announcement of this message.

(C) Politico 12/05/16

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