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Politicotorial: A Happy New Year from Us

Another year has passed and Politico has completed its second full year. But already the feedback reads like we have been around for ages. Thanks to our dedicated management and staff, and our loyal readers who have always called to respond to one issue or another.

We were very impressed the other day when a reader, sounding like a middle-aged man, called to point out the fact that we had wrongly used the word "tamper" instead of "temper". We did not see that as nitpicky at all. Rather we thanked the reader for keeping us on our toes and for being so meticulous.

"I called to point this out because you are Politico and we appreciate how you have raised the standards in your newspaper", he went on. He smiled before saying "My family and I are very proud of you and we encourage our kids to read your paper". How sweet!

Sentiments like such have kept us going. We have an avowed commitment to hold our leaders to account in the interest of the public. In a country with an intolerable degree of intolerance, this has been deliberately and dishonestly twisted by some who have chosen to label us as an opposition party newspaper. We decry people who are intolerant to other people's views so we have ignored such labelling.

As a result of our public interest ethos, we have received reports from many sources that certain government institutions have blacklisted us in the area of advertising. So on many occasions we have published without a single word of advertisement. But we are grateful that our readership has grown tremendously. In fact our circulation has doubled and we have penetrated the provinces where we have a significant readership. Thank you Makeni, Kono, Pujehun, Bo and Kenema. We have plans to establish a presence in Kabala and Kambia where we have received expressions of interest. Hopefully we will work on that in the New Year.

Another thing we hope to work on in the New Year is something we promised to do this year but could not owing to the fact that we divided our synergy towards setting up a radio station. And that is a column on the teaching of English Language. We are concerned about the low level of English in the country which almost everybody admits is a concern. We will try in our modest way to help remedy this - both here and on our radio station.

Talking about the radio station, we have gone through the rigorous scrutiny of the Independent Media Commission. We hope to hear from the National Telecommunications Commission in the New Year and soon Radio 705 Gem FM will hit the airwaves. And our revamped website (www.politicosl.com) with a mobile phone app will be out there telling Sierra Leone's story in a way that is clear, concise, professional and honest.

As this is our last edition for 2013, the Management of FreeMedia Group and the entire staff of Politico wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2014.

Thank you.

(C) Politico 19/12/13