By Tabora Bojang
The Ahamadiyya Muslim Jama’at on Tuesday organised a day-long seminar for at least than twenty media practitioners who on ethics and issues relating to reporting on religious matters.
The event held at the Tango office hall in Fajara was meant to strengthen and develop the capacity of media personnel to effectively report on religious issues in The Gambia and beyond.
The media exercises an essential role in the society that requires a great sense of responsibility and henceforth its personnel are required to exercise sensitivity when dealing with religious issues to avoid any distinction, restriction or preferences based on religion or belief.
“Hate speech and religious propaganda can be used as instruments to violate the rights of others and journalists covering religious issues have an important role to ensure that information they analyse, interpret and provide are devoid of discrimination, promote religious tolerance and should generally be used to increase public knowledge and understanding of other religions,” said communications minister Demba Jawo.
The training, he added, will help strengthen media personnel in playing an important role in tackling stereotypes and misinformation and the lack of and or adequate knowledge about religion.
The amir of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at in The Gambia, BabaTrawally, said journalists have an important role to promote peace and tranquility in the world as ignorance and lack of knowledge in religion is one reason behind many havocs happening around the world.
“One of the reasons that there is so much strife and bloodshed is religion and lack of proper and adequate information about the various religions and religious sects in the world. It is therefore important that we have very comprehensive understanding of religion and how it should be reported,” he said.
The secretary general of the Gambia Press Union Saikou Jammeh said the media space is anticipated to be expanded in the New Gambia and there will be a lot of diversity and plurality in the fraternity. “Therefore, if you are reporting on issues pertaining to religion, care and caution must be observed to avoid any chaos,” he said.