The media, it is said, is the fourth estate in a democracy and it plays a crucial role in ensuring good governance and the rule of law.
The media serves as the mouthpiece of the ordinary citizens and speaks out on their behalf.
The media is what informs the governors of what the governed need and what their hopes and aspirations are.
Equally, it serves as a link between the government and the citizenry in the sense that it is the media that informs the electorate of what their elected representatives are doing or not doing in their name.
One would therefore conclude that without the media playing its role actively, there cannot be any genuine democracy as the electorate will not be informed and if they aren’t, they won’t be able to make informed choices when it comes to elections and the choosing of their representatives.
It is for this very reason that dictatorships or governments of kleptocracy always wish to gag the media so that they will not inform the citizens of what they are doing or not doing. The media also serves a leading role in ensuring that rights violations are checked in a country.
The regime of Yahya Jammeh knew of the powerful nature of the media and did everything to frustrate its efforts of informing the citizenry of the issues that were ongoing at the time.
This gag hampered the media in so many ways.
One of those is the fact that up until now, the Gambia does not have many seasoned investigative journalists to check the issues of corruption and rights violations in the country.
Since the inception of the new government; however, it has been observed with some satisfaction that the state of the media has improved somewhat.
Albeit, there is still a dearth of seasoned investigative journalists in the country.
It is for this reason that the announcement that the Gambia Press Union (GPU) is currently holding a training on Investigative Journalism for twenty local journalists is welcomed and encouraged.
This is the way forward.
Kudos to the Gambia Press Union!