Knight International Journalism Fellowships

Sierra Leone: Launch the First Public Broadcasting Service

Knight International Journalism Fellow Stephen Douglas discusses his ICFJ fellowship in Sierra Leone.

Stephen Douglas launched the country’s first media training center at the new Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), and served as its interim director. He coordinated all journalism and media management training funded by groups such as Deutsche Welle, Journalists for Human Rights, BBC World Service Trust and the United Nations. Courses range from media law and basic radio reporting to journalism ethics and TV camera operation. Douglas compiled a training “bible” that will include all of the guidelines he has developed during the fellowship, including a guide to help members of SLBC’s board of directors follow the principles of public broadcasting. As part of that effort, he developed hiring guidelines for all positions at SLBC. He also helped to design the new public broadcaster’s first website.


  • Jul 122011

    Looking for Light at the End of the Tunnel

    Living without power – light, refrigeration, Internet, fans, TV, etc. – means adapting to a simpler way of life… and a more difficult existence. I go to bed early and wake when the sun comes up. I eat canned meat and canned vegetables because there’s no power for the small fridge in my apartment. I eat by candlelight or kerosene lanterns. I drink my Nescafe coffee with powdered milk in water heated over a kerosene camp cooker. I inhale countless amounts of carbon monoxide fumes from spewing generators. I beg for time to charge my phone from small shops hosting miniature generators. (1000Le or about .25 per charge). I read by the light of a small, battery-powered headlamp.

  • 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.