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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

GPU trains journalists on communication rights

The training held at the Gambia Telecommunications and Multimedia Institute (GTMI) in Kanifing was held with support from the UNDP Banjul Office, under the project: “Strengthening Capacities of Governance Institutions.” 

A teaching assistant at Gambia Press Union School of journalism Sang Mendy, said: “Unlike other professionals, journalists are left on their own working out their roles and determining their ethics. Journalists should be honest, fair, courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.  Be well-informed yourselves so that you can competently inform the public. Give   voice to the voiceless in order to hold the powerful accountable. The information obtained is of great importance and all other ways of getting it have been explored. The journalists should invest time, effort, and resources to pursue the story fully. Admit mistakes and correct them promptly to expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.”

Expressing delight at the success of the training, GPU secretary general Gibairu Janneh said: “The essence of the three-day training is geared towards transmitting news to the people in effective and efficient manner. Every human being has the right to be heard, to have access to the media and in so doing giving voice to the voiceless. A training of such nature is a continuous process to ensure Gambian journalists adhere to best practices in improving on the standards as people informing the public should improve on new techniques, new skills and methodologies in their strive to adequately do their work. 

For his part, the youth coordinator of Child Protection Alliance, Lamin Saidy said: “Your job is to find and disseminate truth in a responsible manner in order to protect freedom of expression; to resist all outside influences, to work without restrictions imposed by authorities. By practicing ethical journalism, you can achieve all these things. The work of journalists touch people’s lives in many ways. That is why you are accountable to people. If you maintain journalistic ethics, you will earn people’s confidence and support, the biggest safeguard to the freedom of expression. Ethics can help you in decision-making. Your work requires that you are able to make decisions and justify those decisions. Many general ethical considerations involved in the practice of journalism are particularly important when it comes to reporting for/ or about children. Along with considerations of professionalism and morality, journalists must ensure they do not forget about child readers/viewers/audiences, even in general news stories where children are not present. Maintaining ethical standards is the responsibility of every journalist. Those in the media should aim to strike a balance between protecting a child from harm and respecting their right to know. Taking into account the specific needs of children, we will first look at some general precautions valid for any type of news, then we will consider more particularly the news directly related to children. Reporters cannot ensure ethical journalism for children on their own. News editors are the gatekeepers – those who edit reports, write headlines and decide on the treatment of news and photos – also have a vital role to play.”


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