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Friday, January 25, 2013

Sang Mendy Lectures Journalism

Below is a commentary short of writing by Sang Mendy, Journalist working with the Gambia Press Union

Lately there’ve been lots of discussion both online and offline regarding our failures in sports. Finger pointing, accusations and counter accusations filled the airwaves. Some believed it is the administrators fault, others laid the blame on incompetent workforce while few put it down to infighting within sports officials- each trying to show what they know and can do.
I want to shift the blame on our good friends; sports journalists. They are a divided bunch pompously trying to upstage or grass each other. Others claimed to be the best, some calling themselves so special, few claiming to have the best sports stories. Majority of them believed they are doing us a favour. No no no brothers and sisters, you are not doing us any favours. The stories you write and broadcast are stale news to some of us because we knew it well before its being broadcast/publish. You (sports journalists) are being paid to report stories to us (the audience), so you are not doing us any favours instead you are doing a job to earn a living.

Recently I read a long, incoherent piece by a sports journalist claiming that he and his colleagues are being continuously disrespected by officials at football grounds. He moaned about the lack of seats for the press at grounds, the efforts they (journalists) put in to inform the public. He went as far as saying they could have focused on reporting about Messis and Ronaldos but they want to promote Gambian sports. Basically the nutcase was telling us that they are doing us a favour so we should hold them to high esteem. Let me say it again they are not doing us any favours. They are employed by different media houses and are contractually obligated to cover stories from length and breadth of the country. How and where they get it is irrelevant to us as far as it is in line with their respective code of practice. If they don’t provide you with seats, get your own then and stop whinging. Remember you are there to do some work. You chose to be journalists, it comes with some hiccups.

I recently noticed the laziest form of journalism. Folks will sit at their offices, browse the net, copy someone’s story (mainly from foreign sites) and paste it in their Newspaper columns as if they are the original author.

Another thing worth mentioning while am at it is the desperation of some of these journalists. They attached themselves to different groups or individuals currying favours from them while attacking others. Some do received large sums of money from officials as a form of allowances or transport cost for coverages. They will in turn repay the gesture with favourable headlines and sometimes attacking opponents of their friends. Isn’t that chequebook journalism?

Comments on the article

 Bockary Sey nice speach,i hpe dat they get it in to there head.i like d pharse cheque book journalism

Ousman Jammeh Hahahah Sang, All sports journalists should read this and heed to the above. Useless SJAG should also take note of the above. Abdoulie Nget, Lai Bah, Babucarr Camara, radio DJ Sara Camara, Alasan Mballow, Pa Nderry Touray, should all read the above and take note.......

Alhagie Essa Jallow When four of us got together at the FDA boardroom to GSJA, our aim was to speak with one voice while we professionally do our jobs. That was why we refused to register with sports council because we are not a sports organisation. To my surprise our successors went ahead and did just that for reasons I cannot comprehend. We are journalists who specialise in reporting sports. We are not propaganda tools for anyone and we are not doing anyone favours. If journalists are not given seats, they should address that with FDA through their organisation. Allowing oneself to be used as a propaganda tool is gross misconduct. You are absolutely right Ousman.

Alhagie Essa Jallow GFA boardroom

Abdoulie Nget welcomed remarks from the both of you above

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