Misleading, erroneous or not, Minister’s complaint is weak
Following complaints forwarded to the Independent Media Commission (IMC) against Editors of upright newspaper tabloids, members in the complaint committee seemed to be in a flummox over the breakdown of the Minister of Energy & Power, in the submission of facts corroborating allegations banged on defaulters.
Sierra Express Media, For Di People Newspaper and two others have had their names ticked by management of Energy & Power for publishing stories believed to be misleading and erroneous.
‘Food finders’ otherwise called ‘favour seekers’ dreadfully carry headlines on front pages of respective local tabloids, inferring that four Editors faced query for publishing stories that are defamatory of the Minister of Energy & Power.
Facts have it though that 80% of persons publishing stories as guest writers of newspapers are civil servants, who virtually have no business to independent journalism, but rather pay loyalty to their employer-government of the day.
No wonder writers of books in journalism insist saying: “If you want to be a civil servant or politician quit journalism.”
Be it told that regardless of make up publications by ‘attack collect’ ‘defend collect’ civil servants/pretentious journalists, complaints forwarded against Editors of reputable newspaper organizations seem to have been labelled ‘sine die’ owing to want of prosecution on the part of the complainant – Minister Ogunlade.
It is the wish of this medium to remind its readership of a story once published by the Torch Light Newspaper with the banner headline ‘FOR MISLEADING AND ERRONEOUS PUBLICATIONS EDITORS DRAG TO IMC.’ Read below and send your comments to email@example.com for subsequent publications.
FOR MISLEADING AND ERRONEOUS PUBLICATIONS EDITORS DRAG TO IMC
ByJohn Baimba Sesay (Josal)
The Acting Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources (MEWR) Mr. Francis D.D Ganda has revealed that with the instruction of the Minister of Energy and Water Resources Proffessor Ogunlade Davidson, a letter of formal complaint against the Editors of For Di People, Sierra Express Media and the Exclusive Newspaper has been made to the Independent Media Commission (IMC).
According to Mr. Ganda, the above-mentioned newspapers published malicious articles on 22nd, 23rd and 24th February 2011 respectively, aimed at misinforming and misleading the people of Sierra Leone on issues they did not investigate or cross-check with the Ministry.
He said to wit:
Tuesday, 22nd February 2011; the Sierra Express Media published a front page article (with the photograph of the Minister) captioned: “Corruption, Energy Minister flaws procurement laws”. He said the content of the article is not only misleading but defamatory. Neither the Editors nor any of his reporters ever sought audience with the Minister or Ministry Officials to cross-check his facts before going to press. He slated that the article now puts the Minister (Proff. Ogunlade Davidson) in a bad light to the nation, on the one hand, and the Ministry in total disrepute, on the other hand, especially at this time when government is using donors and tax payers’ money to undertake development projects such as the one which his paper has erroneously reported.
On Wednesday, 23rd February 2011; For Di People he said published a misleading article captioned: “For manipulation of award of contract, NPPA cancels Ogunlade’s generator contracts”. The content for this article he said is a repeat of an earlier one by the same Acting Editor. The most disturbing thing about the publication is that the Acting Editor published unauthorized classified information which was not yet for public consumption. “The Acting Editor was audacious enough to insert the photographs of both H.E President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and the Minister Prof. Ogunlade Davidson in the infamous article,” he lamented.
He went further to state that on Thursday, 24th February 2011; the Editor of the Exclusive newspaper published an article captioned: “Minister, 4 Others under Fire”. With regards this captioned, Mr. Francis ,Ganda the Acting Public Relations Officer MEWR, said the content of the article is not only distorted but very misleading. The Editor made reference to a correspondence from the NPA General Manager whom he might have held an interview with but failed to contact neither the Minister nor any of the Ministry officials to cross-check the facts before going to press.
The ministry (MEWR) he said views such a diabolical act of this leading newspaper as being unprofessional, reckless and deliberate, which is aimed at crying down the efforts of government, for which the Minister intends to seek legal redress to set the records straight.“ Against this background, the Ministry now formally submits a complaint for the deliberation of your Commission as provided by the IMC Act,” he disclosed.
The Acting Public Relations Officer said a copy of the letter has been made available to the Minister, MEWR, Deputy Minister, MEWR, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Permanent Secretary, MoEWR, Solicitor General, Law Officers Department accusing Mr. Elias Bangura, Acting Editor, For Di People Newspaper, Mr. Ibrahim Samura, Editor Sierra Express Newspaper and the Editor, Exclusive Newspaper all for unprofessional conduct.
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