The Gambia government has been urged to review and scrap obnoxious and unfriendly media laws in the country.
“Some of our media laws are not friendly and have been deterring young people from joining the profession,” said the President of Young Journalists Association of the Gambia (YJAG). Nfamara Jawneh said this was revealed to them during their visits to schools where they encouraged students to major career in journalism.
He said these students feared being harassed in the form of arrests and detention. Mr. Jawneh made the statement at the 7th anniversary of the association held at TANGO office on Saturday.
YJAG is a non-profit making organization formed by young journalists in September 2007 to champion the cause of young media practitioners in the country. The association’s aims include promoting unity among journalists in the Gambia, providing capacity building to members and championing the welfare of its members .
Mr. Jawneh has called on association members – active and non-active ones – to take ownership of what belongs to them.
He advised journalists to recognize their crucial role “in promoting the attainment of food self-sufficiency in a country that depends largely on agriculture. As journalists we could help increase our coverage on agricultural development to help educate farmers on new agricultural technologies and best farming practices.”
YJAG President said his association has over the years made tremendous contributions to the development of Gambia media industry, especially capacity building of its members on news reportage, resulting to enhancement of professionalism among journalists.
“I would like to use this opportunity to implore on all young journalists in the Gambia – both print and electronic, private or public media – to join YJAG for their own good.”
The board Chairperson of YJAG asked journalists not to rest in their laurels. Njundu Drammeh wanted the association members to serve as ambassadors who promote the values and objectives of the association. Drammeh tasked journalists to help people attain enlightenment.
Also speaking at the occasion was the Gambia Press Union President. Bai Emil Touray praised the YJAG for complimenting the efforts of the main union in advocating for democratic process, particularly freedom of the press and expression.
He urged the young journalists to work in the interest of journalism in the country and assured the support of GPU at all times.
Director General Department of Agriculture, Ousman Jammeh, urged young journalists to equip themselves in their areas of journalistic interests. Mr. Jammeh said it is vital for journalists to gather all the major documents of agricultural policies, which he said, will help to ease their job. He advised them to follow agricultural projects, their impacts and lapses during the course of implementation.
“If you understand all these documents it will be very easy to enlighten your audience and readership,” he said.