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What Kind of Journalism is this? - Asks Jia Kangbai
May 13, 2011, 17:12
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It can be recalled that journalism in Sierra Leone as allowed to be practised by the Bernadette Cole led Independent Media Commission (IMC), has been coming under very serious criticisms with an attendant call for the IMC to be completely overhauled even as so-called journalists criminally manufacture up allegations and create fake documents willy-nilly. Currently at the High Court of the Republic of Sierra Leone Judiciary, Standard Times Editor Philip Neville is defending himself against several Libel lawsuits. In at least two of them; the first involving one Finda Koroma and another involving one Abdulai Conteh, hes strongly accused of creating fake documents and information which he then published against the Plaintiffs for which they are seeking redress.

The latest indictment of Neville and his manner of journalism is from a University Lecturer Jia Kangbai who has not only spoken out against the quality of journalism that has permeated the media landscape lately but has damned Philip Nevilles fabrications involving his person.

Kangbai, himself a former journalist who edited Progress Newspaper in the late nineties and has worked at Standard Times and For Di People newspapers was speaking in reaction to the May 12th 2011 edition of Philip Nevilles Standard Times in which Neville publishes contents from an obviously faked email naming Jia Kangbai as one of the reporters for the defunct website of the National Independent Neutral Journalists Association (NINJAS). Alongside Kangbai was also named one Sahr Kaingbanja and Cameroonian journalist Emmanuel Sanosi who was deported from Sierra Leone in 1999. The three names, alongside the un-named author of the email, were all supposed to have been filing their clandestine NINJAS reports to Awareness Times publisher Sylvia Blydens private hotmail account.

Mrs. Bernadette Cole: Head of IMC might have the answer to Jia Kangbais question

According to Jia Kangbai, he was the Sub-Editor of Standard Times when the paper was awarded an international award but he painfully recounts how he was forced to split up with Philip Neville on bad terms because of how Neville treated him upon receiving the international award.

Jia Kangbai said he however holds no grudge against Philip Neville whom he describes as a "former colleague" but he lamented the "total falsity" as published. According to him, "I have never in my life filed any clandestine or NINJA report to the private hotmail account of Sylvia Blyden".

"I really have nothing against NINJAS as I see their clandestine reports back then as the equivalent of Sierra Leones Aljazeera Network but I am shocked, amazed and totally surprised at the malicious, lying publication because it is so unwarranted and uncalled for. I suspect the only reason why he included my name was because of Sylvia Blydens recent piece informing how she helped me and Chernor Ojuku-Sesay. I cannot understand why else he would do this to me. Even this month when I was in Freetown, I paid a visit to Philip Neville. He is a former colleague who has my phone number but he did not bother to even cross-check the facts with me before he published my name. What kind of journalism is this?" Jia Kangbai lamented adding "I do not even know this Sahr Kaingbanja he writes of as being my partner. Also Sanosi was deported in 1999 and not in 2000".

Meanwhile, Dr. Sylvia Blyden, who recently described the NINJAS as having been "very effective" in bypassing the news censor that was in place back then, has dismissed the latest allegations from Neville and the purported email whilst saying: "Not that I was against NINJAS but only those who do not know Philip Neville are the ones he manufactures up his junk for. Everyone else knows just what he is capable of cooking up".

According to her, "Previously, Philip Neville has published several times that RUF rebels told him I operated NINJAS whilst I was supposedly in the bush working with Foday Sankoh. Now, he has changed his story to suit the circumstances of my revelations of the amazing, laudable Role I played in bringing Peace to Sierra Leone. In the face of the raw facts staring him now in the face, his story has changed. Now, he no longer says NINJAS is an RUF outfit but he writes of how I solely operated NINJAS because I was bitter that my dear mother was detained as an AFRC Collaborator. This man is simply incredible. The type of mind he possesses will provide materials for quite a few sessions of Psychiatric Case Studies".

Blyden insists: "Neville is in a deep legal mess and just digging a deeper legal hole for himself every day he publishes his defamatory and malicious materials against Sylvia Blyden. I sometimes wonder just who are his Legal Advisers?".

About Nevilles mockery of Blydens stated ambition to one day be President, she remarked, "Only God will decide when the time comes". She reminded of how the late Olu Gordon, just a few weeks before he died, confidently & arrogantly wrote in his Peep! ragsheet that Sylvia Blyden will only become President of Sierra Leone if Olu Gordon first died and could no longer write.

"Olu Gordon is now dead. May his soul Rest in Perfect Peace," the great and indomitable Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden ended her chat yesterday.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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