The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) celebrated media excellence at their annual National Media Awards ceremony, held on March 2nd, 2024, at the Bintumani Hotel.

This prestigious event recognizes media professionals for their dedication to professionalism, courage, and ethical conduct within the Sierra Leonean media landscape. BBC’s Umaru Fofanah and Rise Radio’s Asmaa James served as masters of ceremony, while BBC Media Action’s Edward Kargbo led the judging panel.

Africell and the United Bank of Africa were among the event’s key sponsors.

The SLAJ’s National Media Awards celebrate the important role journalists play in Sierra Leone and encourage continued commitment to high professional standards.

Several journalists and media institutions were recognized for their outstanding work, including:

Jaward Nyallay (Epic Radio): Best Reporting on 2023 Elections & Best Radio Presenter

Phebean Swill (AYV): Best TV Presenter

Mabinty Kamara (Politico Newspaper): Outstanding Reporting on Health

Amadu Lamrana Bah (AYV): Best Journalist 2023

Abdulai Gbla (Gbla Online): Best Feature Story

Christian Conteh (Ticha Lemp Lemp): Best Reporter on the Environment

Awoko Newspaper: Best Media House/Newspaper of the Year

Epic Radio: Emerging Radio Station of the Year

AYV Television: Best TV Station

Mamaja Jalloh (AYV): Special Recognition Award

Kemo Cham [Mano Reporter]: Best Economic Reporting and Best Reporting on Gender Issues.

Mariama Suma [SLBC]: Best Sports Reporter

Andrew Keili: Best Newspaper Columnist

Sulaiman Karim Sesay [Awoko Newspaper]: Best Human Rights Reporter

Ishmail Saidu Kanu (Tribune Times]

Key amongst the names missing in this year’s ceremony are Thomas Dixon, Editor of Salone Times Newspapaer, Emmanuel Thorli , Editor of the Night Watch Newspaper and Amin Kef Ranger, Editor of the Calabash Newspaper. The three editors are well known to have delivered some of the most breaking  and insightful stories  in 2023 and had been consistent in following up with those stories as they garnered popularity and a fair market value over the years on sales.

Though the Constitution of Sierra Leone, Act No. 6 of 1991, guarantees freedom of Expression and of the press, Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.