Despite its status as one of the world’s poorest countries, Sierra Leone can lay claim to two media landmarks. It was the first country in West Africa to have a newspaper, the Royal Gazette and Sierra Leone Advertiser (sometimes referred to as the Sierra Leone Gazette), in 1801. Indeed, during the 19th century, its capital, Freetown, was regarded as a beacon for African journalism. Later, in 1934, Sierra Leone was one of the first countries on the continent to establish broadcasting. However, these early advances have been undermined since the 1980s by war, ethno-political rivalry, and economic chaos. In common with its neighbour, Liberia, the general quality of journalism is low, although one of Africa’s most celebrated investigative reporters, Sorious Samura, is Sierra Leonean. ...

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