July 30 marked the 11th anniversary of the Patriotic Vanguard newspaper published from Vancouver. In our continuing effort to profile and work with ethnic media across Canada, New Canadian Media conducted an interview by e-mail with the paper’s founder and chief executive officer, Gibril Gbanabome Koroma, a Sierra Leonean journalist in exile. Koroma is pictured at right, in front of the Vancouver Public Library.
Q: It’s been 11 years since you set up the Patriotic Vanguard newspaper. Why did you set it up and why did you choose the name “Patriotic Vanguard”?
It’s okay to be patriotic towards more than one country.
Q: Sierra Leone is a small nation and rarely makes it into Canadian (and presumably, American) news. Who is your audience and why do you think they’ve become fans of your newspaper?
Q: Do you hope to influence the government in Freetown? How?
We saw so much ignorance and sometimes outright nonsense being written about Africa and Africans, and we saw it as our duty to correct and counter such nonsense …
Q: Please give us a description of how you run the paper and its online editions. Do you plan to expand?
The Patriotic Vanguard is basically an online newspaper for now, but we plan to have a print edition if we get funding, which will, of course, make it more general, incorporating news form other communities in Canada. A print edition in Sierra Leone is also being planned. We are all volunteers; nobody is paid anything.