Guild of Editors formed in Sierra Leone

6 Sep 2011

Guild of Editors formed in Sierra Leone

The Guild of Newspaper Editors Sierra Leone (GNESL) was created in October 2010 to offer and opportunity for a peer review mechanism for mainly newspaper editors so as to principally foster a coalition that would be forthright, honest and patriotic in the run up to the 2012 elections and beyond.

An interim executive was elected during a retreat in Bo headquarters of the Southern province of Sierra Leone in October 2010, to run the affairs of the newly formed Guild Of Newspaper editors. The elections came on the heels of a lengthy session during which members deliberated on the constitution of the newly formed Editors Guild.

The Executive Representative of the UN Secretary General Michael Schulenburg, whose initiative it was opened the retreat in the presence of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication and host of local dignitaries in Bo.

The Editors Guild it was emphasized by many speakers was to seek the interest of members and promote a professional and vibrant print media that would contribute its quota to the continuous process of peace consolidation.

The United Nations Integrated Peace Building Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), sponsored the retreat which also benefitted from the technical support of the Independent Media Commission.

Over Forty newspaper Editors and IMC Commissioners actively took part in the retreat during which all of them charted a new way forward for the print media in Sierra Leone paying emphasis on the motto of the Guild which is Ethics and Integrity fully galvanized to uplift the state of the professional standard of the print media.

The Editors adopted the Bo Declaration to uphold their integrity as a fundamental bed rock in their role as supporters of all initiatives towards peace consolidation.

They upheld the need to use the medium to further strengthen Sierra Leone's hard won democracy whilst identifying powerful commercial and political interest as threat to their independence.

They also committed themselves to put public and national interest above all other considerations.

The Editors also emphasized the need to have an increase number of women as Editors of newspapers as well as promised to continue engaging major stakeholders in assuring quality media production.

They also called on the Government and newspaper Publishers, media related institutions and the general public to fulfill their part to enhance the effectiveness of the Guild.