(Issue for Monday 5th August 2019)
Twenty-four young journalists who underwent a twelve-week journalism training course at the Insight Training Center graduated last Wednesday, held at the Center’s annex at Sinchu Alhagie.
This is the second phase of the three year media training cycle. The first phase was in December, 2017, which was sponsored by the US Embassy in Banjul.
Principal Ismaila Ceesay said the day is a moment of great reflection and congratulated the graduates for successfully completing the programme. “I implore you all to be good ambassadors of the institute. Over the past 19 years, thousands have graduated from the institute in different field of studies.”
He promised that they will continue to provide cutting edge technology and innovation for their students and will ensure that they serve and meet the needs of their customers. “We are also committed to complement the development efforts of the government in the attainment of its targeted development objectives.”
Kathryn Edwards, US Embassy public affairs officer said now is an important time for journalism in The Gambia, saying she was sure that many of the graduates have been watching the testimony at the TRRC, where their colleagues explained the horrors that they endured. “Some even gave their lives for the noble profession. Journalists have an important role to play; a civic duty to inform and empower the people and champion truth and fight false narratives.”
She reminded the graduates that journalists have a responsibility to adhere to the highest standard of accuracy and duty to apologies and correct a story that was innocently reported. “These do not only build trust but also strengthen the institution.”
Ebrima Darboe, deputy permanent secretary of the ministry of information and communication infrastructure assured that his ministry does not and will not in any point revert to deplorable tactics of censorship and other unjust practices done by the previous regime.
He said he is confident that the pool of students expected to graduate from the training center will enormously boost and uplift capacity and the standard of journalism and broadcasting in The Gambia. “As a government, we are ready to embrace and work with the media towards the realisation of our development goals as outlined in the National Development Plan,” he said.