Journalism was in those days a feared and respected profession simply because it was not only seen as the guardian of truth but also a symbol of national unity. The profession was a guiding force for those in power to do whatever under the ambit of the law and reminded leaders of their constitutional mandate.

Those who witnessed the days of Sam Metzger, Siaka Massaquoi, Franklin Bunting Davies, Richie Olu Gordon, Christian Kellie, Vandy Kallon, Christo Johnson, and others of blessed memory will always live to tell how this once cherished profession was feared even by lawyers, politicians, religious leaders, men and women in positions of power.

Like other professions on earth and especially in our society where journalists are always under suspicion, journalism is not rosy and has its challenges, and those practitioners who sacrificed for the sake of the truth and humanity were either killed or the system works against them.

However, amidst the aforementioned challenges and dangers, Sierra Leone and journalism used to have men and women who worked without fear or favor and gave resolute support not only to the downtrodden and the oppressed but also to those who felt they had been disadvantaged by the system.

Those God-fearing journalists were men and women with vision and passion who believed in building national unity.

Sierra Leone as a nation has had a history of wars, political intimation, tribalism, and the like. During that difficult moment in our country’s history, the profession stood tall like a towering symbol of defiance without fear or favor because practitioners then would not hesitate to trend along the routes of danger that current journalists are hesitant about as long as there is sanity in society.

The pens were vibrant and awake, no-nonsense, and journalists were focused and would listen to the pleas and cries of citizens for endless hours. In their accompanying articles, they will expose the wrongdoers and urge authorities to take action. The media in those days was a campaigner for justice.

They will condemn tribalism expose those practicing it without fear and call for national unity.

The question that keeps through my mind as I continue writing this piece is; Why are the pens silenced?

What has muted or toned down the pens?

Sierra Leone, a once peaceful nation is no longer at ease. The center can no longer hold, and bloodshed everywhere. Tribalism, nepotism, and injustice are all on the increase.

But journalism which was built on a foundation of honesty, and fearlessness in speaking the truth seems to be silenced.

Has someone dried the ink on the pens?

It’s a humble call to all of us to wake up again take our pens and fight against injustice, corruption, and the like.

Journalists are known for telling the truth to power. Both Sir Albert Margai and Siaka Stevens faced the full wrath of journalism in their quest to practice a one-party system. But the profession seems to be dying slowly.

Are we all sitting and allowing others to bury our beautiful profession in the mud of hypocrisy, sycophancy, and boot-licking?

The criminal libel has been expunged – and it’s a plus to us all, but more needs to be done. The ordinary man is going through a lot, let the fight for personal recognition or political gains don’t kill one of humanity’s most respected professions.

A lot of us cub reporters or journalists with enthusiasm to serve our people have been pushed to the corner by editors and radio station managers because we reported stories against their political parties’ interests.

Either we work collaboratively and collectively as a team to redeem our country or we perish together.

The Pen is mightier than the Sword.