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Sierra Leone Embassy in Germany becomes dealer of EU-citizenship: A Rejoinder

Sierra Leone Embassy in Germany becomes dealer of EU-citizenship: A Rejoinder

I believe the New People newspaper online is becoming increasingly unpopular in making headline-grabbing publications about government officials of the APC party. Unsubstantiated, unwarranted and slanderous publications of President Koroma and his officials is not only portraying the caliber of the yellow journalism this New People newspaper is practicing but it denotes a destructive and unpatriotic scheme to undermine the progressive efforts of President Koroma and his government officials as they work assiduously to reinstate Sierra Leone to a nation of pride in the sub -region. 

Self-style writer, Alias Hassan B. Mansaray article on April 15, 2010 published in the New People newspaper online portraying the Embassy of Sierra Leone in Germany as a “dealer of EU-citizenship” is not only absurd and ludicrous but a calculated attempt to tarnish the image of Ambassador Jongopie Stevens and the government of the APC.      There is a golden rule in politics:  what you say to appeal to your own party supporters will later be thrown back at you many times by your opponents.  Eye-catching headlines intended to create internal strife or discredit a government official is reminiscent of the story of the man who pointed a finger at someone forgetting to know that four fingers are directly pointed at him.

The long contentious elections in Sierra Leone may have revealed that there are still dissatisfied citizens divided on the issue of candidates and political appointments, but Sierra Leoneans seem to be fairly united in having a change of government, and when it comes to declaring one sure loser: the SLPP and some disgruntled elements like the New People and cohorts. 

With the election over, politicians, pundits and ordinary citizens have joined a rougher than –usual critique of the coverage carried out by the media.  Complaints and accusations have been flying.  In the minds of many the press was guilty of bias, partisan, irrelevance and even calumny.  And though a lot of criticism is deserved, the press as an institution delivered a remarkable comprehensive and detailed account of complex and sometimes vitriolic campaign.

So what does this all mean Alias Hassan B. Mansaray?  As a writer who is duty bound to report unbiased and authentic news, making fringe news sources when in reality they are not reliable, you have created a situation where your reporting now gets transferred into the mainstream press.  Fringe news outlets now become “sources” in themselves.  This phenomenon allows political special interest groups to get their twisted messages into the mainstream press because now they are considered a viable news source.

In politics, it is sometimes necessary to insist on political principles, while at the same time it is necessary to insist on political unity among people who may differ or conflict to a greater extent in their beliefs or principles.  On the other hand, political principles can also be “diluted”, reinterpreted or ignored, purely for the sake of promoting a contrived political unity.  In consequence, a coherent rationale for being in the same organization is gradually lost.

Finally, Alias Hassan B. Mansaray, if you let people believe that the press has an unsubstantiated bias you have done a great disservice to the concept of  “free press, free people,” because the press cannot do its job of informing the public effectively if it is perceived as biased and opportunistic.

Joseph Seidu Sherman, Washington, DC

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