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GPU trains 60 journalists ahead of December election

GPU trains 60 journalists ahead of December election

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The Gambia Press Union recently organised a training for at least 60 journalists in the country ahead of the impending December election.

The training focused on election coverage and protection mechanisms for journalists.

Buba Fatty, an accountant of the GPU, said the training seeks to build the capacity of journalists from the print, online, broadcast, and community radio stations.

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Mr Fatty added that the 60 journalists will be divided into three sets and will be trained on safety and security, analysing situations and making risk assessments on safety and contingency plan for election coverage.

He said as part of the efforts to ensure the safety of journalists, the GPU established a safety hotline, which is prompted by the lack of proper records on violations of media rights during elections.

“This hotline will be engaged in monitoring and documenting attacks on the media and journalists,” he said. “We will also hold a pre-deployment engagement with more than 50 police officers who will be deployed for election duties across the country.”

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Pa Modou Faal, a board member of the GPU, said the training came at the right time as the presidential election is approaching.

“The safety and security of the journalists during the election should be prioritised because they serve as agents of change and mirror to the public to get factual information about the election,” Mr Faal said.

He said the safety and security of journalists should not only be considered by the government, but by political parties and independent presidential aspirants.

He advised journalists to protect themselves from hackers to avoid landing themselves in trouble. “Journalists should also apply caution and be vigilant about the places you go to cover events.”

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