The Independent Media Commission on Thursday 9th May 2019 held a workshop/seminar that was also an instructive interactive session with a cross section of the media.
Relevant tips on how to run and manage a newspaper or radio station profitably and sustainably was dilated on by media guru, Dr. Francis Sowa on the topic: Management Tips for Effective Administration of Media Houses. “we used to have a lot of portfolio NGOs operating in the country before regularization of the sector”, Dr. Sowa noted that the reason why many media houses do not operate effectively is because they lack management structures, organization and pay little attention to staff recruitment, welfare and remuneration, among other deficiencies that contribute to an ineffective media house.
BBC journalist Umaru Fofana was not available to lecture on Auto-Regulation in the Media which was succinctly done by IMC Commissioner Rev. Dr. Victor Suma.
Mustapha Sesay, another IMC Commissioner took the invitees through a detailed instruction of the Media Code of Practice. His co-presenter, Lawyer Ansu Batilo Lansana warned journalists that with the coming repeal of the Criminal Libel Law to be replaced by a civil libel law, aggrieved parties may no longer choose to go to the IMC for redress but straight to the courts where, if a journalist is found wanting for libel or any other professional infringement on the rights of others, the fine could be hefty and failure to pay will lead to imprisonment.
IMC Chief Commissioner, George Khoryama, who lamented that the commission is inundated daily with complaints from the public, stated that under his leadership, the focus of IMC is not to punish journalists but to capacitate them to practice their trade professionally, within the ethics and laws that govern it.
It was within that periscope that Rev. Dr. Victor Kanu asked journalists if they regulate themselves, and whether they guide themselves in the practice of the profession, which he said is very important for holding society accountable to itself.
Assurance was given by the Deputy Minister of Information that the New Direction government will in no way muzzle the press, but will seek to work with it as an active partner in development and as such will work towards capacitating it to function effectively and professionally.