COVID-19 and journalism in Sierra Leone

The generation-defining COVID-19 crisis has disrupted journalists and journalism across the world. Since its emergence, several studies have attempted to document its impact on the news industry, both in the western world as well as emerging economies.

Sierra Leone was among the nations that took swift action and locked down in response to the pandemic. But this came, as an International Growth Centre study shows, at a high economic price.  In this national survey, undertaken nearly 12 months into the global pandemic, we seek to map the challenges that journalists face—faced—in Sierra Leone.

To what extent has the pandemic—and the responses it necessitated—impacted journalism in Sierra Leone?

How did the news media cope with the challenges to newswork?

How do journalists assess their levels of disaster-preparedness and capacity-building requirements?

We partnered with the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists for this survey, which was distributed online, using Microsoft Forms, and via telephone, from in February and March 2021. More than 600 journalists responded, from all four provinces and the Western Area. This included news personnel working in print, online, broadcast, and radio, as well as news agencies.

Download the survey report, The impact of COVID-19 on journalism in Sierra Leone.


We wish to acknowledge the support we received from Limkokwing University, Women in the Media Sierra Leone, and Sierra Leone Association of Women in Journalism. Without their efforts, this national survey would not have received the response it did.

Most importantly, we wish to thank the hundreds of journalists across Sierra Leone who invested their time in responding to our questions.