By Alagie Manneh
Leading independent television QTV, has denied accusations of censorship by prominent Gambian activist Madi Jobarteh.
In a Facebook post yesterday, Mr Jobarteh alleged that he has been “blacklisted” for years by QTV, which he said is a disturbing development that must be challenged head on.
“I have been reliably informed that several other individuals and institutions are censored by QTV for reasons best known to them,” Mr Jobarteh wrote on Monday. “If confirmed, such an undemocratic and draconian stance tramples on my rights and that of others to dissenting and divergent opinion and uncensored expression.”
The Standard contacted Ade Daramy, head of news at QTV, who denied the accusations.
“As the country’s first independent TV station, we take seriously the position and reputation we have earned and occupy and as such, we value our role to inform the public on matters of public interest.
“In doing so, we hope to be part of the media that stimulates public debate and caters to all shades of opinion, as can be seen from the various current affairs programmes on our channel. In our editorial team, we sometimes take decisions not to broadcast material for any number of reasons but not, to censor,” Daramy said in a statement shared with The Standard.
He further revealed that they have already engaged Mr Jobarteh to clear the air on the matter.
“Since the statement by Mr Jobarteh, I reached out to him via a telephone call and clarified the instances he quoted in his statement and assured him, as we can assure the public, that we will not be censoring him, or anyone else,” Daramy said.
Meanwhile, the president of the Gambia Press Union Muhammed Bah told The Standard that he has reported the matter to the Media Council for redress.
“I asked the Media Council to take note. The media should not be censoring anyone. Section 207 and 208 [of the Gambian constitution] calls for divergent and dissenting opinions,” he said.
The executive director of the Media Council Bai Emil Touray, said it would be premature for the Council to comment on the issue. “We have not done any due diligence investigations of the matter yet,” he told The Standard.