Addressing participants at the training, Emil Touray, president of GPU emphasised the importance of human rights saying “we believe that the only way journalists can enlighten people on human right issues is for them to understand the whole issues surrounding human rights”.
Mr Touray expressed optimism that the training would enhance the way journalists report on human rights issues once they understand what human rights are all about when reporting.
“This is one way of enhancing the capacities of media workers in journalism. As stakeholders in the country’s development process, we can play a meaningful role in promoting human rights and development one way we can do that is to do it in a responsible and professional manner” he said.
Gibairu Janneh, secretary general of GPU also dwelt on the importance of the training as essential to equip journalists in execution of their job. “Due to the information age which we are in, for journalist to be up-to-date, to be modern in the execution of their job, to be able to do it in a more efficient and effective manner, they should be oriented on the new skills, techniques and knowledge that is available to them on a day to day basis,” Mr Janneh noted.
He continued: “This is why the GPU puts firm emphasis on training because it is also out of training that we can start setting up standards .In the final analysis we need to set standards in Gambian media so that professionalism becomes our benchmark. Whenever we talk about human rights we are also not only looking at civil and political rights. We want journalists to broaden their knowledge about what human rights entail.If you look into the universal declaration of human rights, there are two components; the civil and political rights and economic, covenant, socio-cultural rights. In as much as we put emphasis on people who have been detained without trial we should equally bring to the lime light the plight of women and children who go to bed without food, clothing or shelter on a daily basis.”
Mr Janneh further stated that the media laws of the country are not “favorable” and needed revisiting so that we have more press friendly laws. To this end, he said it is essential to decriminalise and repeal media laws that could lead to prosecution of journalists.
“It has to do with the stringent media laws rather than ethical reporting. The advocacy here is to engage all stakeholders to ensure that the Gambian media laws are reviewed and brought in line with international standards”.]]>