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A Neutralist Disowns His Integrity

The questions of trust, credibility and public confidence always emerge whenever people who had served political organisations in diverse capacities with vested interests focused on supporting and promoting specific people, institutions, ideas and agendas, as is being manifested in the contents of a local publication owned by one of the country’s international and global media outlet reporters in Freetown, for which there has never been hard news for government and the ruling party.

This media personality used to serve as a critic of the last government but now hardly does otherwise for reasons best known to his media house’s policy. Or maybe, is it because he served the last Alhaji Ahmed Kabbah regime at the reconstruction commission? Read on to find our more.

Thereafter, his services with one key public agency, the National Commission for Social Action, where his ‘master knows all’ ego failed him, he reverted to the journalism profession for the second time, though he has always been very selective, biased and dishonest in his presentations on national issues to his bosses in London.

Naming names here is really not the prime focus of this edition of Talking Point, but to actually call things by their right nomenclatures, as far as media practices and handling, and international media coverages/reporting around the Commissions of Inquiries and the indiscriminate Anti-Corruption Commission hassles of past government workers are concerned, which have never been fairly presented to the world.  

All we envisage are mere blackmail stunts against the main opposition and politicians of the past regime, which amongst several other issues are unfairly reported to London, directly question the neutrality, sincerity and credibility of the reporter of this highly acclaimed global media corporation he works for.

Against these backdrops, protests were staged against him London by Sierra Leoneans in the United Kingdom who went right to the headquarters of his office and called for his urgent replacement with a neutral journalist with no vested interest in whatsoever including the politics of the country.

But their cries fell on deaf ears because he was quick at rebuffing their claims as he presented a picture to them in London as if his life was under threat in Sierra Leone, while in fact he wasn’t even confronted here by a fly. It is unimaginable indeed how deceptive a journalist working for a reputable global media channel could conduct himself.        

As a point of professionalism, be it political, social, the economy, sports, to name but a few, are all expected to be fairly presented to the world on a neutral playing ground with a high level of credibility, trust and public confidence to save one’s name and journalistic profession from being brought into the mud. This is the exact opposite as things are done only to satisfy his in-laws from Bonthe Island, ignoring the fact that trust and public confidence in him were and still are at stake. Come on man! Be bold enough to tell them to their faces that they have not done much as expected, and that corruption is eating deeply into the fabric of the society more than ever, which should have been also objectively factored in your reports to your London based channel. 

Nonetheless, in the media landscape shortly after the civil conflict and to date, so many professionals especially journalists including your very self are apparently secretly attaching themselves to political groups for personal gain. Some even come out in public for political appointment jobs. And most of these journalists even worked for some of the other political parties  when the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party won the 1996 general elections and took up running the government.

The London based media channel reporter even served as a Public Relations worker with a government agency – National Commission for Social Action (NACSA). And he only took leave when things got sour and reverted to journalism, having served at the news agency under the same government. So why wonder at him proving that selective in reports he now file to the global media he works for in London?

These can’t be covered up at all no matter the rebranding and brainwashing with empty public lectures, and keep bringing you under the radar of public suspicions that you indeed owe allegiance to a political party and a government you are trying profile well to the world, as against the principles of your house style and international media ethical practices. Oh what a shame on us from this part of the earth for still embracing these messes from you and your financiers! This particular reporter has on several occasions been accused of bias in his reports on national issues and on certain political subjects involving high profile politicians of the past administration to the world.

The very correspondent is on record for not upholding that aspect of the spirit of peaceful journalism and pretends to the world that he is always up to his task, even when he is always selective. However, back home in Sierra Leone it is virtually a different ballgame as far as reporting for the global media in the United Kingdom is concerned. Here it has all been largely influenced by the ruling class and the orders of the day, which makes the reporter on ground more subjective to the dictates of the incumbent government than those of his paymaster in London.

These have in the recent past continued to position the very London based global media channel in a very bad spectrum in the eyes of so many Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad. Some even hold the view that the London based global media reporter in Freetown, Sierra Leone couldn’t have moderated the well stage-managed Town Hall Meeting for President Julius Maada Bio, only to serve as a mere defence of a failed leadership, who couldn’t point at any tangible mark of achievement for his three year stewardship in office.

Moreover,  many also believe that he shouldn’t have messed himself up with such, as there are so many well paid government PR handlers who could have faced that universal disgrace instead of him, bringing the media institution he represent in Sierra Leone into total disrepute.

These, including so many covert government-backed consultancy contracts being undertaken by him from the system, also continue to raise doubts about the credibility of the personality of the London based global media reporter. And these have to a very large extent questioned the integrity, sincerity, honesty, credibility and neutrality of certain journalists working for international media agencies in the country, amidst glaring issues of neutralists allegedly deliberately disowning their integrity.

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