‘President Jammeh values free and independent media’

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Ebrima Jawara said this yesterday at the closing of a three-day seminar on ‘How Journalists can help in the fight against food insecurity and poverty in The Gambia.’  

The seminar was organised by the Network of Agricultural Communicators – Gambia (Nac) with funding from the Danish Food and Agriculture Journalists (DFAJ).

Jawara, who is a son of the former president said, ‘the media plays a key role in reporting and analysing the state and advancements in the agricultural sector.’

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He said agriculture also remains a top priority of The Gambia government whilst encouraging journalists to maintain ”­a healthy relationship” with the Department of Agriculture’s communications, extension and education service.

”They have a wealth of experience, information and invaluable archive materials that is relevant to your field of journalism. The Ministry of Agriculture’s website is also another tool that the media and other stakeholders can use to get information on farming related matters,” the permanent secretary told media practitioners as well as other key stakeholders in the agric business.

He further admonished journalists: ”You are accountable to the general public and have a responsibility to report in a balanced manner that tells the truth with a touch of sensationalism to boost your sales. After all you must make living. Carefully proof read your stories. Enroll in short courses on writing and English. A single word used incorrectly in a sentence can have a tragic consequence. Use the Internet to collaborate information given to you by your sources. Do not personalise issues. Issues that become personal ignore logic, the truth and will cloud your judgment. If need be, stay away from stories that are too personal to you. Difficult to do, but try and condition yourself.”

He assured Nac of The Gambia government’s support and encouragement to keep up the momentum as ”they disseminate vital information to the stakeholders in the agriculture sector, contributing their just quota to our food and nutrition security. We rely on the media to know what the players in the agricultural sector are doing to provide affordable, wholesome food to the citizens. Therefore, we depend on you for credible information right from the source.”

 

Author: Sainey Marenah

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