Sierra Leone

Jun 292015

The Challenges Reporters Face While Covering Ebola

When the World Health Organization officially confirmed an outbreak of Ebola in Sierra Leone late in May last year, Toronto Star global health reporter Jennifer Yang immediately knew it was a big international story and she had to cover it.

But she also knew she would first have to overcome some major obstacles if she hoped to travel to West Africa for the story: budgets at her paper had been consistently cut, and it would be difficult to gauge the scale of the outbreak from distant Canada well enough to convince her superiors that it was a story worth covering.

Apr 182011

At Long Last, Recruitment Begins at Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation

The radio notices started in early spring. The constant television scroll made the announcement amidst reports about Libya and the Salone Stars football team. On Wednesday, March 23rd, three of the 30-odd daily newspapers in Freetown ran center spot, double-page spreads. Pages were stapled to notice boards within the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC). The new SLBC web site lists the jobs available and has a PDF of the application form. And, the media sector in Sierra Leone is abuzz… with the news of the SLBC recruitment campaign.

Mar 172011

In Sierra Leone, A New Broadcast Training Space Raises Hope

Training. Capacity-building. Resource development. Things that everyone from President E.B. Koroma and Board Chair Septimus Kaikai to Idrissa, a camera operator, and Emmanuel, a radio presenter, have yearned for at the year-old Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), the country’s first public broadcaster. The need for training is ever apparent and almost universally recognized here in Sierra Leone.

Feb 82011

Political Coverage Will Help Determine Strength of Sierra Leone’s First Public TV Network

At the moment, the Sierra Leone People’s Party is the official opposition in Parliament. The ruling All People’s Congress won the 2007 election by a narrow margin and the next national election is slated for some time in 2012. By all accounts, this next election will be a touchstone for democracy, continued development and peace in Sierra Leone.

The Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation, as an independent, balanced and fair public service broadcaster, will lead the coverage of the campaign and the elections.

Feb 32011

Broadcasting in Sierra Leone is Going Through an Evolution

Let’s look at radio first. According to a “2010 Media Use Survey,” commissioned by Fondation Hirondelle and Cotton Tree News (CTN), the peak times for radio listening are between 6:00 and 7:30 a.m. and between 6:00 and 8:30 p.m.

Dec 212010

Building a Consortium of Media Development Partners in Sierra Leone

Working with the media in Freetown can be enormously frustrating and tiring. But a quick comparison of where we were a few years ago shows just how far we’ve come.

During the brutal, ten-year war, Sierra Leone suffered a massive brain drain/exodus of journalists, teachers, business-people, politicians and young community leaders. In many ways, the country's media has never recovered. As a result, there are many challenges, both large and small.

Since the end of the conflicts in 2002, there’s been a proliferation of newspapers and radio stations.

Oct 222010

Out With the Old and In With the New

A much-needed cleanup day did more than clear the dust at SLBC. It became symbolic of the change from stale, state-run facility to the nation’s first ever public broadcasting network. The “rescue team” of thirty-five active, young volunteers – men and women – clambered out of the poda-podas (converted mini-vans) sporting white t-shirts that read, “Support SLBC” early last Saturday morning.

Sierra Leone: Journalism Training (2005)

Knight International Journalism Fellow Merle Rubine completed eleven months in Sierra Leone in 2005 partnering with Fourah Bay College.

Oct 192010

“Elvis is in the building…” Welcome Gbanabom!

Gbanabom (Elvis) Hallowell was officially welcomed to the fold at SLBC as the new, permanent, Board-approved, presidentially-appointed Director General on October 1, 2010. After months of application forms, interviews, “politicking”, review committees and appointment processes, Gbanabom’s presence is a very welcome sign that things are moving forward in the transition from state-owned SLBS to the public broadcaster SLBC. Signs of progress can be few and far between but this giant step is hugely significant.

Oct 162010

SLBC’s First Permanent Staff

For far too long, SLBC has operated under interim management. The appointment of Gbanabom and S.B., as they preferred to be called, is a culmination of a large number of events, negotiations, processes and procedures. It’s been a long road and we’re just starting our journey…

On October 1, 2010, the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation bid farewell to its “Acting Director General” and “Acting Deputy Director General,” Patrick Tarawalli and Mohamed Samura, respectively.