Support to Media Development

Enhancing Responsible Journalism in Sierra Leone

 Effective media is a vital vehicle for sustainable development. © J Terry/UNDP Sierra Leone

We work towards a proposed chapter for inclusion in the national constitution that is now under review. We push for provisions pertaining to media freedom and independence and the consolidated laws governing the regulation of mass media institutions in Sierra Leone. This covers media ownership, licensing, registration, etc. and the protection and independence of the IMC.

We also endeavor to establish a Center of Excellence for journalism education in Sierra Leone. The Center of Excellence is an outcome of a comprehensive review of the Mass Communication program at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. The Center will be a model academic program, committed to research and scholarship, symbolizing the best pedagogical and professional practices and aiming to produce students with exceptional skills as practicing media professionals and communication specialists.

The whole project is being implemented through the Media Reform Coordinating group (MRCG), which creates a platform to support Alternative Media Systems in Sierra Leone. This system is a network of community radio stations using creative and innovative programming formats to capture the knowledge and narratives of the rural and urban poor as part of the conversations about social problems affecting them. For this system to function, we consider community radio broadcasting network like the Independent Radio Network (IRN), national newspaper project and enhancing the efficiency of public service broadcasting.

The MRCG is charged with the responsibility of facilitating the reform of the media landscape in order to ensure increased independence, higher ethics and professionalism through the implementation of the Media Development Strategy. Therefore, we respond to the need for coordination and reform in the media sector.

We strive to strengthen democratic dialogue and accountability, consolidate peace and ensure development through professional, independent and sustainable media based on the right to freedom of speech

We provide Capacity Building Trajectories as a sustained series of programs, activities, and academic training to promote quality performance at media agencies and to support staff development at media organizations.

Accomplishment so far

The Media Bill

  1. In July 2015, the Media Reform Coordinating Group hosted a conference where the draft Media Bill was validated. The Strategic Engagement and Public consultation was to formally present this document to the Ministry of Information so that it can be presented in parliament. Present were Members of the public, Civil Society and members of the Fourth Estate.
  2. MRCG submitted the Media Position Paper to the Constitutional Review Committee. Media practitioners converged on Thursday, August 6th 2015 to deliver the media position paper. This paper was developed by the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) and the Independent Media Commission (IMC), and validated by media practitioners and civil society activists.

Resource Mobilization

  1. MRCG embarked on networking and partnership building for resource mobilization. Contacts were established between MRCG SL and the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), based in Accra, Ghana.
  2. A draft Memorandum of Understanding has been proposed between MRCS-SL and MFWA these two organizations for mutual projects and collaborative activities. MRCG also participated in partnership workshop organized by MFWA in Accra, Ghana, February 2016
  3. Also, MRCGSL visited in a number of potential development partners who could subsequently contribute to funding the on-going media reform processes in the country.
  4. The Resource Mobilization Workshop held on 10th December, 2015 was one of the key deliverables for the organization’s sustainability. It was geared towards bringing potential donors together and presents the MRGG’s scope and areas of operation so that they could express interest to supporting areas that interest them.
  5. A Resource Mobilization Committee consisting six board members has been set up to champion all resource mobilization issues for the MRCG.

Creating a center of Excellence for Journalism Training in Sierra Leone

  1. A comprehensive project proposal has been developed for the Center of Excellence Project following the completion of media curriculum review process. The revised media curriculum has been validated by the university of Sierra Leone senate/curriculum committee.
  2. MRCG Engaged the University of Makeni, Njala University, Every Nation College (Bo), the Eastern Polytechnic, and other emerging programs in mass communication as part of the effort to harmonize curriculum among these institutions. The revised curriculum was officially handed over to the various colleges in their individual campuses.
  3. MRCG With support from UNDP procured and delivered smart classroom equipment to the Mass communication department Fourah Bay College in reassuring them of the project of transforming the Mass communication department into a Centre of Excellence.

The secretariat

  1. First Board Retreat attracted members MRCG-SL to convene in Makeni. For a period of three days, board members critically examined the operation, management and the overall organizational development of MRCGSL.
  2. To standardize operations and procedures, two strategic management documents (Financial Management Manual and Human Resources Manual) were reviewed, updated and submitted at the MRCGSL board retreat held in Makeni.
  3. In addition, Quick Books financial management software is being incorporated within the day to day accountable and transparent management of organizational resources.
  4. An effective monitoring system has been developed to help the secretariat to keep track of projects and activities funded and supported by MRCG through the support of UNDP.
  5. The MRCG SL corporate website (www.mrcgsl.org) is currently at an advanced stage of development. Also, a corporate communication plan has been developed and the first edition of quarterly newsletter is out, and the second edition is in progress. Furthermore, the organizational brochure was finalized and now available. Better still, it is possible to view MRCG on social Media.

Who finances it?



Year Donor Amount
2013 UNDP US$ 311,815
2014 UNDP US$ 448,327
2015 UNDP US$ 350,000
2016 UNDP US$ 200,000

Delivery in previous fiscal year

Year Amount Contributwed
2013 US$ 311,815
2014 US$ 362,208
2015 US$ 324,872

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