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Letter of Apology as Ordered by the Independent Media Commission
Dec 5, 2016, 12:10
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Awareness Times Newspaper,
24 Garrison Street,


Friday 25th November 2016.


Independent Media Commission

3rd Floor, Kissy House,

54 Siaka Stevens Street, Freetown.


Dear Sir,


Letter of Complaint against the Independent Observer Newspaper


I write to complain the Managing Editor of the Independent Observer Newspaper, Jonathan Leigh over a series of publications culminating in the one he did on Friday 25th November 2016; all articles entitled Sylvia Blyden is an APC evil virus. In the said articles, Jonathan has severally referred to me as a nonentity.


Nonentity is a word that is offensive and meant to be character-damaging in the practice of journalism in any modern and civilized society. It seeks to demean and is also an inaccurate portrayal of me. I cannot be accurately called a nonentity under any sphere. I am accomplished and well noted.


I am therefore complaining him as breaching the ACCURACY clause in the IMC Media Code of Practise.


Secondly, he is claiming that I am not the one writing my articles but that someone else is using my name to write. By such claims, Jonathan Leigh has effectively subjected me to the public as a stooge who is usable.  This claim by Jonathan has caused a few people to no longer take me as my own man but as a fool who allows other people to write and use my name. I don't deserve such inaccurate portrayal of my person. 


Let me state that I am a holder of Diploma in Mass Communications and I am also now in my Final Year Honours Programme in Public Relations and Advertising at the University of Sierra Leone. Prior to my current appointment as Acting Head of Awareness Times Editorial Team, I used to write and shadow edit for APC WE YONE. 


I have chosen the distinguished career of public relations and journalism with a possible expansion into Law. However, by Jonathan reducing me like this, he has possibly damaged my future as another person, ten or twenty years from now, might produce those editions of his paper and use it against me. I feel the publications should therefore all be retracted with an apology.


Finally, I want to state that I am also complaining Jonathan Leigh in my capacity as Editor of Awareness Times Newspaper for his gross misquotation of my newspaper. He is stating what the newspaper never published as words of Hon. Dr. Sylvia Blyden. That is, our July 17th 2007 edition which had a piece by one Professor Sia Tiyaama in United States of America but which Jonathan Leigh is now inaccurately saying were the words of Hon. Dr. Sylvia Blyden and that she said those words as a prediction which was published by Awareness Times in 2007. I feel the misquoting is with a malicious intent as evidenced by his persistence to repeat it even after I have corrected him. Mr. Leigh is writing with utter malice and intense Hate as he inaccurately says words written by Sia Tiyaama as published by Awareness Times, are words of Hon. Dr. Sylvia Blyden. Very inaccurate journalism. 


The copy of that July 17th 2007 edition is very clear. You can examine the one you have in your archives. In that publication, you can see very clearly that the author is not only identified as Professor Sia Tiyaama but Awareness Times made a disclaimer saying the article was done by an SLPP Partisan member. It will interest you to know that Hon. Dr. Blyden has never been a member of the SLPP.


Bottomline, we seek retractions and apologies as a newspaper and I also in my individual capacity. I feel such a misquoting which he has continued to repeat as being lifted out of Awareness Times, is completely malicious and lacks accuracy. Even after he has been corrected, he continues to publish his claims of "nonentity" alongside with false quotes. This is all damaging to us, and has exposed the entire editorial team of the Awareness Times Newspaper to public ridicule, mockery and hate.


Whilst I pause at this point, I look forward to your usual cooperation.


Yours Faithfully,



Abdul Malik Bangura,

Acting Editor,

Awareness Times Newspaper.


CC:Jonathan Leigh, Managing Editor Independent Observer Newspaper

CC: Hon. Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Childrens Affairs

CC: Benjamin Davies, Publisher Awareness Times Newspaper

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

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