The Gambia government has recognised the crucial role of the diaspora onlin media in the struggle to defeat the Jammeh dictatorship. In this regard, the Minister of Information Demba Jawo sent a letter to the diaspora media appreciating their efforts as well as seeking cooperation. The new government however does not intend to control or manipulate the editorial polucies of the online media.
Find below Minister Jawo’s letter:
The Need for Cooperation
On behalf of President Adama Barrow and the new government, we wish to take this opportunity to express appreciation to you, and through you the entire Gambian diaspora, for the significant role that each and every one of you played in the struggle to free our dear country from the clutches of tyranny and mal-governance.
While the contribution of your colleagues on the ground and indeed the vast majority of Gambians who remained at home during the struggle had been unquantifiable, but the role of the Gambian online media and by extension, the Gambian diaspora in general, had been quite formidable. It is hard to imagine how we could have gotten here without your contribution as well as the significant role played by the Gambian diaspora, both financially and through the effective use of social media to sensitize the population.
We wish to assure you therefore that this government considers the Gambian online media as an extension of the Gambian media rather than as adversaries, as it had been the case in the recent past, and as such, we want to work with you to consolidate the gains we have so far made in the emancipation of our people and how we can advance those gains.
We wish to assure you also that we have no intentions of ever trying to control or manipulate your editorial policies, on the contrary, we welcome your fair criticisms of our comportment and actions, because it is through such criticisms that we can realize when and where we need to buckle up.
Therefore, let us re-iterate that the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure is available at all times to answer to your concerns and queries with regards to issues pertaining to the government, and please never hesitate to contact us at all times.
We are anxiously looking forward to working with each and every one of you in our efforts to advance the cause of justice and fair play for our people wherever they may be.
We wish to thank you in anticipation of your usual cooperation.
Demba A. Jawo
Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure
Tel: +220 4378099
It is not possible to “control” anyway.
What is needed is TIMELY RESPONSE to the media’s need for INFORMATION. A Daily Press Briefing from the Ministry for the media will go along way to minimize FAKE NEWS and avoid MISUNDERSTANDINGS.
For example, Pa Mbai may wish to ask: “WHY IS BARROW ON TOUR CAMPAIGNING FOR UDP??!!” and the Ministry needs to give an answer:-
“President Barrow will remain strictly party neutral while on tour” … this coming directly from the Ministry will re-assure readewrs.
Additionally, Ministry needs to give out a 24/7 manned E-mail, Twitter and Facebook contact to the Media for ANY questions – so that the media will always have the Government’s response when they publish a story.
FURTHER, ALL NEWS THAT ARE NOT BASED ON FACTS NEED A DEBUNKING GOVERNMENT RESPONSE. OTHERWISE, “MUD-STICKS”.
We pledged our firm allegiances, our promise we shall renew.