Your newspaper features too many stories and articles on religion, especially Islam, imams, marabouts and Sufi clerics instead of critical reporting on social issues like poverty, crumbling road networks, underfunded state projects, cutbacks on pensions, farmers problems, skyrocketing of goods, low standard of livelihoods, wasteful doling out of state resources, a chaotic economy, and exposure of injustice just to name a few.
Religion as we are all aware is very central in our lives but even there, prophets throughout the history of religion were sent to alleviate human sufferings to improve their standard of existence. Prophet Sh’aib (Jethrob) in his mission called his people (Midian) to stop dealing in fraud, respect people, stop banditry and to be just in their dealings. Musa (Moses) warned the pharaoh and the rulers of Egypt against tyranny and disobedience. Similarly, Issa (Jesus) called to the same way. Muhammad encouraged peace and the dispensation of justice as a head of state.
Therefore, if you look back at the long history of religions and civilisations, it could be said they all advocated for social thought and freedom for every society. Religion might be unique so is the ethos of its believers but in the art of journalism I for one do not think it should preoccupy you as it is the case. Rather it should be left to the forums of its learned interpreters and expounders.
This is a very stressful time for the country and many economically hit families and people are not appreciating religious news being the butt of your front page witticism or whatever you have. Rather good journalism on real time issues is what is expected from all the Gambian newspapers especially The Standard which until now epitomises the best in newspaper journalism as opposed to the ‘sing-songs’ of gibberish vested interests.
Many Gambians would tell you that your newspaper is so far the best in the country but I do object to your frequent carrying of talks by contradictory clerics and imams. I therefore implore your kind indulgence to genuinely concentrate on more important bread and butter issues first. Journalism embodies and radiates the multifarious aspects of human life, and applies in principles to actual problems with inferences for these issues to be redressed. You also have to know that not all your readers are Muslims, interested in Islam or even religious.
Mass AK Taal
In praise of Lamin Cham
I write to express my gratitude to your reporters especially Mr Lamin Cham for his wonderful sports articles. I buy The Standard just to read Mr Cham’s articles because they are always very factual, unbiased and full of information.
I am a keen football follower and for anything I want to know about football in The Gambia, I simply read Mr Cham’s articles. His recent coverage of the Under-20 saga is a case in point. He reveals everything and thanks to him all Gambians know exactly what happened.
I believe that is journalism at its best. When you read some newspapers, or internet newspapers or listen to some radios, the news is all biased so much so you do not even know what is true or what is false. But with Lamin Cham, you know what he write or says on Afri Radio is simply the truth and nothing but the truth because he researches his stories well and he does not have any grudge against anyone.
I wish the other sports journalists on newspaper or on the radio would follow his good example so that Gambian sports journalism becomes developed to higher heights and is the envy of all.