29.2 C
City of Banjul
Sunday, May 19, 2024
spot_img
spot_img

President Barrow meets newspaper publishers

- Advertisement -

As part of its outreach programme to meet key stakeholders, the Newspaper Publishers Association NEPA on Friday held a meeting with President Adama Barrow at State House. The meeting came after a month-old request was made by NEPA to introduce the association which is the umbrella body of private newspapers in the country as well as highlight the operations of the industry affected by government policy, such as media laws, taxation, importation of printing materials, advertisements among others.

The delegation, comprising representatives from The Point, Foroyaa, The Standard and The Voice, was led by NEPA president Pap Saine, who thanked the president and government for the political and personal goodwill in ensuring tolerance for the media since assuming office in 2017. He said this is evidenced by the good ranking the country currently enjoys in the freedom of press index worldwide.  Mr Saine reminded the president that the media in general is a partner to government and not its enemy and it is important that the two interface to grow greater understanding. He dwelled on some of the bottlenecks faced by the media in terms accessing information from public officials as well as the need for government to consider subventions to the media as whole as it is the case in other democratic nations.

Sam Sarr of Foroyaa, reminded the president that though there has been tremendous improvement in freedom of the media, access to information   and the existence of anti-media laws in the constitution are a concern for the media. He said the media would love to rely on the law rather than on the good will of the president or government.

- Advertisement -

Lamin Cham of The Standard expressed appreciation to the president for the meeting and spoke of the need for government officials including the president to be more readily available for media interviews and  real time clarifications   when matters of public interest arise  rather than waiting  to make reactions.

 He noted that government needs to put in place a robust, timely communications method that would be efficient enough to provide timely reactions to issues and to lead in controlling communications of government programmes.  

 President Barrow expressed delight in receiving the delegation and spoke of the importance of the interface between the media and the government and assured that he will remain the most tolerant and accessible president and has no intention of using draconian laws as against the media at any time.  He said his government has made numerous progressive legislative changes and will continue to do so in order to ensure that good practice is embed in the country’s laws and this include media laws.

- Advertisement -

The president said the media should take its role in projecting positivity for the overall development and interest of the country. He said tremendous infrastructural developments are happening everywhere and there is little excuse that this should escape the eye of the media.

 Both sides noted that the family meeting is a great opportunity to foster greater understanding and remove misconceptions. Others at the meeting included Musa Sheriff, publisher and editor of The Voice, Pa Salla Jeng, General Manager of The Standard and Baba Hydara co- publisher of The Point, the chief of staff, Office of the President, Mod Ceesay and director of press, Amie Bojang-Sissoho.

Join The Conversation
- Advertisment -spot_img
- Advertisment -spot_img