On the re-opening of SLPP Office … “We would never encourage violence” John Benjamin...

Political Partisanship

We are concerned about the level of political partisanship that has invaded both the print and electronic media. It is now crystal clear that more than ever before the media has become an active tool in the propaganda campaign waged by politicians on both sides of the political divide.
The attempt to reward a student activist by the NPRC Junta by appointing him to the position of information attaché to the High Commission in London has now been pushed to greater heights.
Whilst voices were raised then that it was a civil service job and the way and manner in which it was conducted was improper, the issue was allowed to pass because of the fact that military junta’s do not necessarily conform to established norms. It was thought that the succeeding civilian regime would correct the wrong and continue in the path of established norms.
This was not to be and the Tejan Kabbah led government perfected the wrong so to speak by appointing a replacement outside the civil service though the process of going through the civil service commission was adhered to. Whilst it seemed then like a token gesture involving one individual and one position or posting the Ernest Koroma led administration has turned it into a flood gate by appointing more and even creating more
spaces for journalists again from outside the civil service. For some these are welcome moves that media practitioners are being rewarded for their contribution to political parties, but for others it is bad example which lulls media practitioners into being partisans for political gains. We believe it is an continuing subversion of the media and turning it into a political tool rather than a societal watchdog. This partisanship has grown to such level that some media outlets now openly distort information in favour of their political masters. The danger is that the only organ or ‘estate’ trusted by the people to articulate their concerns and champion their causes stands the risk of now going down. We cannot stop the politicians for attempting to increase their stakes in the media we are more concerned about the direction the media is heading to and the consequences for our nation. When we lose our voice who will stand up for the people?

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