The New York Times, The Washington Post or the Philadelphia Enquirer were the product of a slow-moving evolution. In fact, it was not only these three papers . Even the top British newspapers like The Telegraph, The Times, Daily Mail, The Independent, Guardian etc.all started from somewhere. They did not start by hitting high notes immediately.
COCORIOKO is a growing newspaper that started from nowhere. The funds to set up this paper and to sustain it were provided solely by the Editor-In-Chief. The only outside financial assistance we have ever had was returns from advertising for COCA -COLA. Everything we are doing presently is on voluntary bases.
The paper has only two reporters sending it news from Sierra Leone. Tamba Borbor is actually also employed by the AWOKO Press and his first allegiance is to that paper. Olu Faulkner works for an insurance company in Freetown and his job takes him all over the country. Ofcourse his first allegiance is to his main job. We singlehandedly foot the salaries of these men for services being rendered COCORIOKO. Yet, the rate at which they send us news is erratic. Reasons range from their other job commitments, to family problems, to the power outage that is worsening and has turned Freetown into one of the darkest cities in West Africa , to the uncertainty of internet access in a country with under-par cyber facilities etc. etc. Yet, we think we have been doing a wonderful job to inform our readers about events back home.
We therefore think that the recent attacks on the paper by one PAPASALONE in a certain forum are unjustified. Whoever operates under that mask ( And we have been told it is Sylvia Blyden) is being most unreasonable .We are a relatively new newspaper fighting to break into the mainstream of African cyber journalism. We are still trying to put together structures that will ensure a smooth functioning newspaper.
Of all the Sierra Leonean papers online, we are the most regular. We update every other day .Our efforts have been so recognized that on the average day, we receive at least 1, 600 readers. Not only that Sierra Leoneans from all over the world keep writing to praise our efforts. We read some of the local Sierra Leone newspapers in print. For content, not many can rightly say they are outdoing us . We have been inducted into many international online newspaper directories. So where did PAPASALONE or Blyden come from with their recent destructive tirades against this paper ?
We think that this newspaper is doing fine and we are not going to be bothered by unfair comments from those turncoats who hail us today when things are right between us but will leave no stone unturned to try to pull us down when relations go sour. We think that God willing, COCORIOKO has a very bright future not only as a news source but as a potent vehicle that could be used to promote peace and national unity and national reconciliation in Sierra Leone. For a newspaper being run on a voluntary basis and with meagre financial resources, we are doing a great job staying online and informing readers about news in Sierra Leone.
The road is not paved with gold. It has never been paved with gold for any newspaper, but we shall surely succeed , by the grace of God. We are still searching for more competent and more reliable reporters in Sierra Leone. We are still searching for legitimate, independent sources of funds to uplift the pape’s output. We are still striving. We are even exploring means to establish a print version of COCORIOKO that will hit the streets of Freetown at least twice a week. This is our ultimate goal .One day, COCORIOKO will be counted among the top newspapers being peddled on the streets of our major towns.
We therefore admonish all our readers to continue their support through the complimentary statements they are making in letters, telephone calls and on discussion forums. We know that with their support and with God behind us , we shall surely hit higher notes .