Who Stole Reality?

In my early years in the UK, television really meant something to me. It was clearly the most powerful instrument, with programmes that helped influence real and effective changes for real people caught up in real mess world-wide. It used to air programs that would make you think seriously about life rather than your phone-in votes or your red button vote on the remote control. Certainly television here enlightened me about the ethnic cleansing that was going on in Kosovo, the bloody civil war in Chechnya and it definitely made me eager to find out more about Israel and Palestine.

But even though it seemed to do a better job then, it still left me worried and disappointed about the coverage of my own people.

I think there’s always been a hole in the coverage of my country and my continent. It’s the big powerful silent mass – the innocent, the ordinary, the good and the decent, the people who get stuck in the middle of whatever events their “masters” play their roles in.

So somehow, I suppose it is those people who I feel responsibility for in my work. I am one of them. They are my people – in Sierra Leone and in the whole of Africa and indeed in the whole world. I have met them in Freetown, capital of my country. I’ve met them in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan and in London where I live now.

I think in the normal journalism, these people, my people, are too often ignored, they are powerless, they have no voice at all. The only sound we hear from them – is their crying. Well, if I have a job, then my job is to hear their voices and make sure that the rest of the world hears their voices too.

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