Posted by: APO | 20 May 2008






The undue delay by certain members of the public, individual organisations and/or Government Departments in honouring bills for adverts that had been published in local newspapers has been brought to the attention of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ).


It must be emphasized that the failure by these organizations/Government Departments to settle their bills promptly adversely affects the operations of the newspapers which rely heavily on proceeds from the advertisements to run their business. Some Newspapers have been forced to either cease publication or cut down on their production as a result of the aforementioned.


As a compromise way out of the frustrating situation, SLAJ, in consultation with Publishers/Managing Editors of the newspapers, now take the following action:


that with effect from 2nd June 2008, payment for any advert must be made within fourteen (14) working days after it has been published;


that in the event where the individual or organization fails to effect payment within the stated period, and where there had been no negotiated time frame for such payment, the newspaper reserves the right to add 2% interest on the total cost of the published advert;


that the newspaper or radio station will receive the full support of SLAJ in the event legal or other measures are taken to recover its money.


In light of the above, SLAJ wishes to advise those wishing to place adverts in the newspapers to either forward a post-dated cheque in lieu of payment or make advance cash payment for an advert before it is published, as done elsewhere.


Similarly, an individual, organization or government department is at liberty to demand compensation in an event where the newspaper fails to publish an advert at the authorised date, without any reasonable excuse.


In the same vein, individuals/organizations may refuse to honour any bill for an advert that has not been duly authorized by the said individual/organization.


For ease of understanding, SLAJ urges managers of newspapers to indicate this information whenever bills are forwarded for payment. (ie ‘payment must be made within 14 days or else 2% interest will be charged to the total cost of the bill’).


SLAJ further wishes to state that the new mode of honouring advert bills does not however preclude any previous arrangement between a newspaper and its customers. The new arrangement is meant to ensure that the newspapers are not starved of vital resources necessary to enhance their efficiency and productivity.


We solicit your fullest cooperation.


SLAJ Secretariat 20/05/08    


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