IMC Chairman Talks Tough in Sierra Leone
At the maiden press briefing of the newly reconstituted Independent Media Commission ( IMC), the soft-spoken but highly intelligent Chairman, Mr. George Khoryama (in photo) has introduced the members of the newly constituted IMC Board to Media practitioners, present status updates of the IMC and the operations of the new Board. The event was held on Friday February 1st 2019 at the SLAJ Conference Hall in Freetown.
Khoryama highlighted pointers to be adequately dealt with during his tenure in office. Amongst those he enunciated were:
Reconstruction of the IMC Board:
Chairman Khoryama drew the attention of members present that the former IMC Board was dissolved on June 26, 2018, as part of Government’s restructuring process of management/oversight Board of parastatals and other state institutions. He further asserted that His Excellency, the President, Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio subsequently appointed him as the new Chairman and other Commissioners on the Board in October 2018. In a rather exciting mood, he affirmed that Ten (10) of them were approved by Parliament in November 2018.
Khoryama says all IMC Sub-Committees have been reconstituted by him with stated responsibilities. He said all respective Chairpersons of such sub committees have been approved by the Board in December and are now fully functional.
Newspaper Registration: The Chairman revealed that the Applications Committee of the IMC has conducted interviews for the registration of Eight(8) newspapers and a magazine, and the Board has approved visitation to Five(5) that have fully met the basic requirements in terms of documentation and compliance with the IMC Act and Media Code of Practice.
With reference to Radio Licensing, IMC’s Chairman stated that the Technical Committee of the IMC has also concluded interviews for the licensing of Eleven (11) radio stations and One(1) TV station has been recommended to NATCOM for the allocation of spectrums.
In terms of handling complaints, Khoryama uttered that the Commission has concluded Seven (7) backlog complaints, some with fines, in addition to warning, order to retract and/or apologise. He however promised that the report will soon be published.” Meanwhile, the IMC says it is still investigating the alleged attacks and death threats on media practitioners in recent times. The Commission says it has already received the monitoring report from its Desk Officer on such matters.
More details on the IMC maiden press briefing in conjunction with challenges faced will be published later.
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