The Chief Executive officer of the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA), Ibrahim Brima Swarry has delivered a public lecture on the role of the media in today’s society at the Auditorium of the University of Makeni.
The Theme of the discussion was “The role of journalism in contemporary society ; (the good and bad) taking ethical considerations for media practitioners”.
The lecture was organised by the Mass Communication Department of the University of Makeni.
In his speech, the NPPA Boss said today’s media has become part of everyone’s life. He stressed that the media plays a major role in society, adding that the media has become food to strengthen or weaken society.
He went further to explained that the purpose of the media is to give information about current events, gossip and fashion using the latest gadgets. He further stressed that the role of the media is one way of trading and marketing products, and prejudices. “It gives geographical knowledge about how people are divided. The media claims to be governed by righteousness and equity for both the common and the rich man” he explained.
He said the media is in charge of information, education, entertainment, advancement and correlation of parts of society.
Mr Swarray explained that society is influenced by the media in several ways.
“It is the media for the masses that helps them to get information about a lot of things and form opinions and make a judgment regarding various issues. It is the media that keeps people updated about what is happening around them that everyone draws something from”, he revealed.
He said the Media is considered a “mirror” of modern society. In effect, he said, it is the media that shapes society’s lives.
“It takes discipline not to let social media steal one’s time.
The media has had bad effects on the current generation mainly because the youth is strongly influenced by it. Teenagers and children are intended to follow people who are recognized and follow what they do to get noticed. Sometimes they focus on the bad aspects of the media” he noted.
Mr Swarray told the audience that whoever controls the media, controls the mind.
He said the media affect people’s perspectives, adding that too much intervention of the media in everything is a matter of concern. ” The Media can be considered as a “watchdog” of political democracy”, he said.
The procurement reformer explained to the Mass Communication Students at the university that it is through newspapers, books and magazines that they give or get information about music, movies, and events of the day. He maintained that the media also gives the same about news and entertainment.
He went further to highlight some of the significant transformations of the NPPA starting with the Annual Public Procurement Assessment which catalogued the expenditure analysis of 2018 by all MDA’s, Price Norm, contract award information and more which the media continue to be muted over. He emphasised that those documents are critical to transparency, Accountability and policy formulation but as long as they are not slanderous, the media he asserted shows no interest in them. He advised the future media elites to come out as national developmental media practitioners with an informed ethical attitude.
In controlling the media in a society, the NPPA Boss explained that it becomes a drug to the generation because social media is changing the way people communicate and perceive things both positively and negatively. He maintained that every time one posts a photo or updates his/her status, they are contributing to their digital footprint and personal brand.
He said to the gathering that the media world has positive and negative sides because it has had an influence over generations for ages. Some fake news he explained makes a special impact on society to commit crimes and makes people react fast to the issue without thinking once about the media. Social media like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp play a major role in the country. “Fake news is a big thing in the field of Social Media Journalism. Fake news can be as simple as spreading wrong information or as dangerous as disseminating hateful propaganda.”
He maintained that in the contemporary world, the media is the most powerful entity. “It has the power to make the innocent guilty and vice versa.
The Head of the Mass Communication Department, Mathew Kanu on behalf of the University expressed gratitude to the NPPA Chief and his entourage for honouring their invitation. He explained that Chief Swarray has been very supportive of the institution and has secured the students’ loyalty to the NPPA family.
In attendance were, Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs Francis M. Gbaya, Director of Finance Abubakarr Bangura, Director of Capacity Alieu Moigboi, Deputy Director Morie Junisa of Procurement Processes and Procedures, Deputy Director Badara Sheriff of the Monitoring and Evaluation, Deputy Director of Administration and Human Resource Sylvester Alieu Bockarie to name but a few.