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Sunday, May 9, 2021

CRC asked to include laws dealing with ‘quack journalists’

Ousman Bah, a native of Kampanti in Foni Kansala, has called on the CRC to include laws in the constitution that deter journalists from misinforming the public.

Bah argued that the country’s media land scape has been polarised to the extent that even disc jockeys have now turned into journalists overnight.

Speaking at a CRC consultation meeting in Bwiam, Bah added: “I heard that the CRC has now empowered journalists in the draft Constitution. True, the media needs to be empowered but unfortunately, journalism has now been used to a point where DJs have become practicing journalists.”

He said in a situation where DJs assume the role of journalists, the public would likely be fed with incorrect information.

“How can we have accurate information in the public domain if DJs are now journalists? If government is to guarantee freedom of the press, journalists must also be ready to feed the public with accurate information because misinforming the public is a recipe for violence in any society,” he argued.

He continued: “I am appealing to the CRC to also make laws that will make journalists accountable for misinforming the public. A lot of journalists are bent on misinforming the public and the GPU is doing nothing about it. If we have laws that will make journalists accountable that will help.

“You will never see the GPU making comments against misinformation and false news but when you touch a journalist, you will see them jumping up and down trying to defend journalists for their own crimes.”

He suggested: “There should be a provision that states that any journalist who feeds the public with wrong information shall be prosecuted.”

Meanwhile, the CRC has now extended the deadline for the submission of comments on its draft constitution. It now said persons wishing to make written contributions to the CRC are encouraged to do so not later than Tuesday, 31st December, 2019 at 2:00 pm.
No further written contributions will be received beyond the stated deadline.

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