Kelvin Lewis is a failure  – THE RELEVANCE OF FREE AND INDEPENDENT MEDIA IN SIERRA LEONE

_As modern societies grow in size and complexity, the arena for communication and public debate has become dominated by the media: radio and television, newspapers, magazines, books and increasingly by newer media such as the Internet and satellite television._
_Whether web logs (known as blogs) or printed books, the media in a democracy have a number of overlapping but distinctive functions that remain fundamentally unchanged._
_One is to inform and educate. To make intelligent decisions about public policy, people need accurate, timely, unbiased information._
_However, another media function may be to advocate, even without pretense of objective. Media audiences may benefit from various, conflicting opinions, in order to obtaina wide range of viewpoints._
_This role is especially important during election campaigns, when voters will have the opportunity to see, much less talk with, candidates in person._
_A second function of the media is to serve as a watchdog over government and other powerful institutions in the society. By holding to a standard of independence and objectivity, however imperfectly, the news media can expose the truth behind the claims of governments and hold public officials accountable for their actions._
_The media can also take a more active role in public debate through editorials or investigative reporting, and serve as a forum for groups and individuals to express their opinions through letters and articles, and postings on the web, with divergent points of view._
_Commentators point to another increasingly important role for the media: “setting the agenda.” Since they can’t report everything, the news media must choose which issues to highlight and which to ignore. In Short, they tend to decisions, in turn, influence the public perception of what issues are most important._
_Unlike countries where the news is controlled by the government, however, the media in a democracy cannot simply manipulated or dis-regard issues at will. Their competitors, after all, are free to call attention to their own lists of important issues._
_Citizens of democracy live with the conviction that through the open exchange of ideas and opinions, truth will eventually win out over falsehood, the values of others will be better understood, areas of compromise more clearly defined, and the path of progress opened._
_E.B. White once put it this way: “The press in our free country is reliable and useful not because of its good character but because of its great diversity. As long as there are many owners, each purchasing his own brand of truth, we the people have the opportunity to arrive at the truth and dwell in the lighting…. There is safety in numbers.”_

_*©Royal Communication Unit.*_

About Patric Foryoh

Patric Foryoh Daboh is a blogger, Political, social activist,a satirist and co-founder & Co Editor of Makoni Times Newspaper based in United States of America. He studied Multimedia in the United States.He has met and interviewed personalities including Former vice-president of Sierra Leone Alhaji Sam Sumana, late Tamba Sam SLPP Secretary General , Gloria Strasser , David Tam Mbayoh , Agibu Jalloh, Chernor Bah, Murtala Mohamed , Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray, J. Arr, Nasser Ayoub, Alpha Timbo, Robin Farley, Bai Mahmoud, and many more. Patric has produced the "Diolog" show at the TPN radio and was the social media correspondent for TPN . He has appeared on numerous daily newspapers publication in Sierra Leone. He blogs at Sierra Leone one man civil society blog on relationship, sex, marriage, faith & culture, politics, religion. He was the programming manager at Mamba TV. Patric Foryoh was named as the 54 Most Influential People in Sierra Leone by Swit Salone.com Patric Foryoh represents the new wave of new voices in Sierra Leone/Africa media who are breaking boundaries and charting new territories. He is a husband and a father of a son and a daughter.

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