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Watch our latest Field Stories: Sorious Samura

Watch our latest Field Stories: Sorious Samura
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 Written by Rory Peck Trust

"For some people, you film, you go. But this was home." Sierra Leonean freelancer Sorious Samura talks about the challenges of reporting from his home country and why "there is always a price to pay" working on investigative stories in Africa. 

Sorious has produced and presented films from more than thirty countries - but it all started with Cry Freetown, his hard-hitting documentary on the civil war tearing apart his native Sierra Leone. The film won many awards and led to real political change, but it came with a heavy price: "Filming my own people killing, raping, maiming, destroying themselves - it had a very dark, deep, disturbing impact for quite a while."

Sorious has since covered stories and investigations across Africa, from corruption in Kenya to the plight of refugees crossing the Sahara desert to reach Europe, working with local journalists to expose wrongdoing and abuse for the Al Jazeera English series, Africa Investigates.  

He talks honestly about the dangers that African freelancers face at home and reveals how a colleague who worked undercover on the investigative film, Timber! still lives with the consequences: "This guy has left his mum, his brothers, his sisters; now he can't practise what he loves simply because he managed to help us bring out the truth."  

Sorious says its important that African journalists get to report on investigative stories from within their own countries, but they also need to receive proper support and training that makes them equipped to deal with the risks - something he knows only too well: "I've been thrown in prison, I’ve been tortured, just trying to do what I believe as a journalist.... There is always a price to pay."

Sorious was winner of the Rory Peck Award for Hard News in 1999

Watch the film below in full now. 

Warning: the film contains graphic footage and scenes that some may find disturbing.


 
RPT Field Stories is filmed, produced and edited by Sam Sapin. Watch previous episodes now: 
 
  • The first episode features Saudi video journalist and two-time Rory Peck Award finalist, Safa Al Ahmad. 
  • The second features Emmy, Bafta and Rory Peck Award winning freelance filmmaker, Olly Lambert.‚Äč
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