VP Juldeh Jalloh Urges the Media to be Architects of a Progressive Narrative for Sierra Leone

In a gathering that many would later describe as more like a motivational seminar than a traditional Iftar, Sierra Leone’s Vice President, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, delivered a passionate call on journalists at the Radisson Blu hotel in Freetown.

Speaking during an event organized by the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), VP Juldeh Jalloh urged the media to become the architects of a “progressive narrative” for Sierra Leone.

With the theme of “Promoting Peace and National Cohesion” looming large, the Political Science Professor emphasized the importance of disciplined leadership and sustainable societal development, urging journalists not to take peace and cohesion lightly and stressing that they should adhere to acceptable journalistic norms while reporting on societal issues.

Despite acknowledging the challenges posed by divergent views and aspirations, the existence of regions and districts in the country, the former UN civil servant also draws from his experience working on regional stability and nation building in the Balkans, the post-apartheid South Africa, and in the Sahel region of Africa to implore reporters not to let social, religious and political differences hinder progress.

The guest preacher and renowned Islamic scholar, Sheikh Umar Farouk Adam Bah, earlier opened the event with lessons, stories and references in the Holy Quran that emphasized the purpose of the theme, ‘Promoting Peace and National Cohesion’.

He explained Islam’s longstanding emphasis on peace and cohesion and accountable political leadership further praising the SLAJ Iftar Committee for their efforts at promoting Islamic doctrines and stressed the importance of harmony in society.

SLAJ President, Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, reinforced the messages of the day, emphasizing the vital role journalists play in fostering peace and development in Sierra Leone and the world over.

Former SLAJ President and a journalist of repute, who served as one of three invited contributors, Umaru Fofana, underscored the need for accuracy and balance in reporting, urging journalists to embark on fact-finding missions to ensure clarity. He called for honesty in the way the state, politicians, and the country address the issues of peace and national cohesion.

John Caulker of Fambul Tok International, who has been leading one of the biggest post-war civil society platforms that promote peace and reconciliation efforts in the country, called for decentralized engagements to ensure minority views are adequately represented. He stressed the importance of people-centered governance and called for realistic conversations to drive progress.

SLBC Director General, Josephine Kamara, highlighted the media’s crucial role in society and the involvement of women stressing the need for strategic engagements and constructive dialogues. She also urged journalists to prioritize facts over fiction, asserting that such would promote peace, development, and cohesion.


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