Tuesday, September 21, 2021

New professional network for business and economic news launched in Sierra Leone


Sierra Leone Telegraph: 4 August 2021:

A new professional network launches today (4th August 2021), by the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) with the Sierra Leone Reporters Union (SLRU) as an implementing partner, aiming to boost independent news production on business, financial and economic issues in Sierra Leone, by bringing journalists, business people and economists together to share ideas, build expertise and create opportunities for collaboration.

Unmet demand for better business and economics news

With facilitation by Invest Salone, the UK-Government funded private-sector development initiative, the Business and Economic News Network was born out of an interactive dialogue, held in March this year, between the media and the business community, where participants agreed there was a substantial unmet demand for better business and economics reporting in Sierra Leone.

Creating a space where journalists and business professionals can learn from each other

Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, President of SLAJ says that although this area of journalism is essential so that everybody can understand the implications these forces have on our day to day lives, the March dialogue highlighted the challenges journalists face: “The media in Sierra Leone have an important role to play in Sierra Leone’s economic progress, by encouraging dialogue through accurate and timely information on business and economic issues; but there’s a skills gap in the journalism profession and a trust gap between the media and business sectors. These impede good reporting. The SLAJ Business and Economics Network is intended to help provide solutions, by creating a space where journalists and business professionals can learn from each other, share information and explore common ground.”

Good journalism will bring business and economics to life

Amadu Lamrana Bah, President of SLRU and winner of the SLAJ award for best economic reporting in 2018, said: “Good journalism should bring business and economics to life, making stories about these subjects interesting and relevant to all audiences, not just specialists. We look forward to building the network so that it represents one of the most dynamic and exciting fields in journalism in Sierra Leone.”

Membership of the new SLAJ Business and Economics Network is free and open to practising and aspiring journalists, as well as other professions with a genuine interest in collaborating to contribute to a more inclusive economy through improved economic and business reporting in Sierra Leone. Membership benefits are designed to create opportunities for professional learning and recognition, career development, and knowledge sharing, as well as networking and mentoring.

Invest Salone Team Leader, Chukwu-Emeka Chikezie said: “Invest Salone works with the public and private sectors to identify, design, and implement reforms that will reduce the costs and risks of doing business in Sierra Leone. An independent and vibrant press widens the scope for the expression of opinions and ideas outside the government which can help improve policymaking and accountable governance, and enable persuasive advocacy on business issues – all of which would contribute to creating a more enabling business environment and ultimately foster conditions for more inclusive growth, jobs and higher incomes for more Sierra Leoneans.”

How do you join the SLAJ Business and Economics Network

SLAJ and SLRU welcome expressions of interest from journalists stating their name, address, email, and telephone number, with a brief description of areas of interest and professional background.

For further information or to submit your expression of interest, contact slaj.salone@gmail.com or slruofficial@gmail.com

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