Covid-19’s devastating impact on news industry in Sierra Leone revealed
Covid-19 has had a devastating psychological and financial impact on journalists in Sierra Leone, a new study released today has found.
Impact of Covid-19 on journalism in Sierra Leone was released by Madam Mamadi Gobeh-Kamara, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, at the headquarters of Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) in Freetown.
The national survey, published by SLAJ and led by researchers at Bournemouth University in the UK, had responses from more than 600 journalists across the country. It reveals that the pandemic affected almost every aspect of news production as well as the individual wellbeing of a majority of journalists.
“This is a serious situation which needs to be addressed through cooperation, collaboration and networking or partnerships. The Government has a role to play as well as SLAJ and the individual media houses to collectively look at the recommendations and work together to address them, because COVID-19 will not be the last disaster to befall us,” said the Deputy Minister.
Among the key findings were:
Almost 60% of journalists reporting having experienced depression and almost 70% experiencing increased anxiety
86% of journalists say they have been impacted financially with 16% (around one in six) saying they had lost their jobs
Survey respondents reported decreased news production in broadcast, print and online platforms
Most respondents felt they were ill-prepared and ill-trained to face the pandemic.
The full report can be accessed online below.