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GPU, Media Council reports ‘fruitful’ meeting with Pura

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By Alagie Manneh

The GPU leadership and officials of the Media Council of The Gambia have praised their discussions with Pura as “fruitful”.

The regulator met the journalist bodies Tuesday following an uproar caused by its warning letters to three radio stations intimating they may have violated their licence conditions.

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But the media fraternity and human rights observers say the three stations were targeted for political reasons coming barely a week after President Barrow criticised some radio stations. 

Following what some perceived as threats to close the media outfits, the press union and the media council requested for a meeting with Pura on Tuesday.

The media council described the outcome of the discussions as “cordial, professional, informative and very fruitful”.

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“As the Media Council, we would like to state that members of the media fraternity were well received and accorded fair hearing. Pura also renewed its unflinching support to the media and the council. Ultimately, all the parties at the meeting agreed to work on their shortcomings in a bid to consolidate freedom of expression and media freedom.”

In a statement prepared by the council and seen by The Standard, Pura highlighted the need for the two regulatory bodies – Pura and the council – to sign a memorandum aimed at enhancing media regulation and professionalism in the industry.

“It is our view and conviction that Pura had no hidden agenda; the initiative was rather for information sharing and agreeing on optimal working conditions for the media practitioners. We wish to conclude by reminding all media practitioners of the need to familiarise themselves with the Cherno Jallow Charter of Ethics,” it stated.

GPU head, Muhammed Bah, said Pura had raised concerns about the spate of “personal attacks and insults” on the airwaves.

“Like for example, they said that callers would call in and say things that wouldn’t be controlled, or have a caveat put to it. That was one of the concerns that Pura raised. Overall, we were able to discuss the issues and Pura has agreed to moving forward with the Media Council. They will finalise an MoU for the Media Council to look into the content aspect of the work of [the radios in question] thereby helping Pura to monitor ethical conducts. So, we don’t expect any further measures against the radios that were accused. Moving forward, they want to work with the Media Council.”

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