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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Information Minister Tells Journalists: ‘Don’t Be Partisan’

Minister Alagie Cham

The Gambia’s minister for Information and Communication Infrastructure on Monday warned against a polarised media industry, urging Gambian journalists to observe neutrality in party politics.
“As media practitioners, you should guard your integrity, be sincere, truthful, and accurate, and be impartial because you have an obligation to provide a truthful, comprehensive and intelligent account of daily events to the society,” said Minister Alagie Cham in a statement read on his behalf by information directress,  Aisha Davies during a week-long long training for twenty Gambian journalists on “International Standards for Freedom of Expression for Journalists at Gambia Press Union secretariat.
Under the auspices of Gambia Press Union and Article 19, the programme is funded by the European Union (EU).
“As journalists, you should be non-partisan. You should make sure that you weed out the sensation and focus on the matter,” he said.
Minister Cham said, Gambia government attaches a lot of importance in the development of the media in Gambia.This, he added, is manifested by the proliferation of newspapers and radio stations in recent years.
“It is important to note that the media is the most powerful tool for communication and it is both an influential and inevitable factor in the socio-politico-economic development of a nation,” he added further.
Against this backdrop, Cham emphasised the need for Gambian journalists to be equipped with requisite knowledge to efficiently execute their duties.
For Mr Bai Emil Touray, president of Gambia Press Union, the government of The Gambia has its shortcomings and called for constructive dialogue to addressing the challenges.
Mr Touray urged the participants to deliver to expectation so that funders like EU and others will come on board to fund more programs for Gambian journalists.
“Together we can make a difference and I want to make a difference in The Gambian media together with you,” he pointed out.
The training in general focuses on Standards of Freedom of Expression. 20 Gambian journalists selected from over 48 applicants months ago are taking part. Out of the twenty, the best ten will be selected to attend a ‘Right to Protection’ training programme.

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