GPU stages 7th awards night on impact of digital media

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The deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Information, Ebrima Jobe, has said digital media being one of the most effective tools of enlightenment on education, communication and entertainment, has both negative and positive impact on right to information.

He was speaking as Guest of Honour at the 7th annual journalism award gala staged by the Gambia Press Union Saturday.

It was themed on impact of digital media on the right to information in The Gambia.

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Mr Jobe further asserted that the right to access public information is a fundamental human right aimed at promoting the theory of checks and balances and to promote transparency in government ministries and agencies and one of the segments of the social contract theory.

He told the larger assembly of journalists that users of digital media platforms have a responsibility to play the game by the rules, to properly handle sensitive information, avoid cyberbullying, adhere to the intellectual property laws etc.

“The distortion of public information could lead to social havoc and retard national development.

Rights to information through digital media and public data banks do not give anyone carte blanche to engage in conducts of misinformation,” he said.

Mr Jobe lamented that the major impact of digital media vis a vis access to information is lack of proper sanctions and control on the gathering and dissemination of information unless there are caveats against unfair practices.

He said Government has a duty to proactively inform the public with timely and accurate information through her ministries and agencies by computerizing up to date records and allow swift accessibility as this will help minimize the citizens’ need in the quest for formal information and to avert room for disinformation and misinformation.

The event witnessed the awarding of well over a dozen journalists from the print and electronic media on various reporting topics.