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Sunday, March 3, 2024

On the reopening of The Standard

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Bakary Baldeh, Gambia Football Federation: The rebirth of The Standard is welcoming because it is the paper that whets my appetite….all the features in the bulletin are must-read ones….I am happy for all the staff.


Ousman Bah, University of The Gambia: “The quality of The Standard newspaper has made it a household name. I admire the style of writing and presentation of all the materials contained. It is indeed a welcome development for hitting the newsstands once again. Keep up the good work.

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Baboucarr Ceesay, Vice President, Gambia Press Union: To me, it is a self-rectification on the side of the authorities to open a media house that has been closed without any legal orders. But a calculated disadvantage to the media chief, employees and the general public.


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Alagie Jinkang, Italy: We expect a lot from The Standard. Yes, you have to make a strong, interesting and educative publication that will inject and drive competition and professionalism in the Gambian media landscape. The Standard we used to know is back in form and will endeavour to lead.


Amadou Jallow, President, Network of Agricultural Communicators: The re-opening of The Standard is pleasing. It shows the importance government attaches to media advancement in the country. As young people, now is our moment to stand up to make a change in our agriculture sector. Again and again, we must do this together as one nation and one people.


Lamin Fatty, Teranga FM: I am delighted at the re-opening of The Standard for two reasons: first it will provide employment opportunities for youths. Second, it is one of the leading newspapers when it comes to objective reporting. Standard has a great focus on stories that have impact on Gambian society. I look forward to seeing an increased strength in both coverage and content.


Musa Barrow, Journalist, Kotu: Basically, I am happy that Standard has re-opened. However, I am unhappy that The Daily News hasn’t been re-opened. It is a very good development even though it shouldn’t have been closed in the first place.


Satang Saho, Bakau New Town: I am happy that The Standard has re-opened… It will re-offer employment opportunity to youths as well as contribute to national development through news reporting and raising awareness.


George Christensen, veteran broadcast journalist, Fajara: The re-opening of The Standard is good for the plurality of the media. We hope that the diverse articles and news coverage will continue to contribute towards free expression.


Sheriff Yunus, Faji Kunda: I am very glad for the re-opening of The Standard; a paper that I really missed to read… I hope that they will continue to operate in the same manner of being professional and responsible in disseminating information from all corners of the world without fear or favour.


Aisha Keita, Student, radio broadcaster, Kanifing: Every newspaper reader wants to have a clear message and reliable information about things happening around in the country and that is what The Standard newspaper does. I was very excited about the re-opening and I can imagine the big things coming up as always. The paper is reader-friendly and I personally never regret spending a butut buying it. I will encourage you to keep up the good work and bring more columns that can vent creativity to discuss about women especially those at grassroots level.


Dr Sidat Yaffa, lecturer, University of The Gambia: It is good to see The Standard back but I also question the closure which should not have been in the first place. I am glad that the paper is back for business. I will suggest that the paper add more interesting columns to its pages, including a column on agricultural development. There is no serious professional reporting on agricultural issues in this country and I urge the management to look into that aspect. I also call on the management to maintain their editorial policy of unbiased and fair reporting.


Madi Ceesay, publisher, The Daily News: I welcome the re-opening of The Standard. I urge the management to keep up the good work that they have been doing. There was a big vacuum [created in the media] due to the closure of media houses but with the re-opening of The Standard, the vacuum will be smaller. When a media house is shut down without due process of law it is tantamount to suppression of freedom of expression. 


Babucarr Kanteh, Brikamaba Community Radio, Central River Region: I am happy that the paper is back. My advice for the management is to try hard to expand its coverage and circulation to the rural areas where majority are farmers. Farmers’ issues should be featured in newspaper publications because of the important role they play in the development of The Gambia. But unfortunately much is not heard or said about them in most newspapers. 


Mamadi Sanneh, Basse, Upper River Region: The re-opening is wonderful news for all advocates of freedom of speech and expression and I hope that the paper will continue the good work they have been doing in the past.


Modou Touray, Brikama, West Coast Region: The Standard newspaper’s publications are ethical and professional with well-experienced journalists and editors. The re-opening of the paper will boost competition in the media industry which is good news. I am calling on the management to focus more on developmental stories as journalism is beyond political reporting.


Saikou Jammeh, journalist: I think it is good that The Standard newspaper is back on newsstands after a long absence from the media industry. The paper should not have been closed in the first place even though the re-opening is good news. I expect them not to compromise their editorial stance by presenting divergent views and religiously pursuing the truth. 


Saikou Bojang, student: I welcome the resumption of The Standard newspaper publication. My favourite paper is back and I hope it will broaden my reading and writing skills.


Pa Malick Ceesay, National Assembly Member: Congratulations Brother Sheriff and His Excellency, The President of the Republic of The Gambia and His Minister of Presidential Affairs for reopening The Standard newspaper…  We hope to continue working together for the betterment of our dear motherland, The Gambia. 


Mama Sarr, Sweden: I can’t muster any excitement over this! Should not have happened to begin with and secondly how much editorial independence will you have if any story that does not comply with the “status quo” can lead to closure again?


Sulayman Bah, London: Congratulations to the proprietor of The Standard. I am not sure the leadership is clear about the role of the press. I am aware that government business transactions are complex; but it would not do any harm in adding ‘the role of the media’ as an agenda item for discussion during the next retreat. The press and mass media are under-utilised in The Gambia. This is my opinion. 


Valentine Banjakey, New York: Personally, I don’t really care much for the politics and all that led to the ‘closure’ of Standard Newspaper in the first place (in fact i’d rather keep those thoughts to myself and let the experts deal with it). BUT it’s great beyond measure that Sheriff Bojang gets to get back to doing what he does best; writing with his heart and head while touching our minds and souls. And equally vital if not more profound, is that him and his staff gets back to being employed again and to continue providing for their families.


Ingram Peters, London: What’s On, In The Spotlight were a few of Sheriff Bojang’s columns that made the Weekend Observer a must read for me in the 1990s and 2010s. I remember being 16 and couldn’t understand what he meant when he wrote of Pap Cheyasin Secka’s ‘chequered 54 years’. My dad, bless him, broke it down for me and how it fits. Brikama’s finest is a genius.


Buba Manjang: Sheriff, sure is a fine writer. His articles in the Weekend Observer were a joy to read. Some of my worst weekends were those without his masterpieces. The guy really writes when he writes. At the moment I buy two papers daily but when my favourite Standard hits the market again, I don’t need any other paper. For real man.



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