GPU honours Deyda, launches Media Council

Monday, December 24, 2018

Fourteen years after he was brutally murdered, The Gambia Press Union on Sunday 23 December 2018 honoured Deyda Hydara, the former co-publisher and managing editor of The Point Newspaper at a local hotel in Senegambia.

The event also coincided with the launching of Media Council of The Gambia.

The president of the GPU, Sheriff Bojang Jnr., paid tribute to Deyda as a man who fought to see the freedom of the media in this country.

He said that since efforts were put to form the media council, many people are asking about how the council would get resources to run sustainably.

He said that the members that are going to be in the council are not just journalists and would be from diverse walks of life in the country.

“People ask so many questions, and to be honest with you, the answer is, we don’t know. We’re working as a union in darkness.”

“Everybody in this country and journalists in particular can attest to one thing that we need to raise our game when it comes to ethics of how we do business.”

Pap Saine, the co-publisher and director of The Point described the initiative by the GPU in honouring Deyda Hydara as great move.

“Deyda dedicated his life all to promote press freedom in the country and he started his career in 1970 with radio Syd.” It was in 1991 that I, Deyda and Baboucar Gaye launched The Point Newspaper and Deyda has contributed a lot in the development of press in the country.”

 Mr. Saine said that Mr. Hydara had served as the president of GPU for 10 years before stepping down. “He made changes by encouraging the youths to adore the profession of Journalism in the country,” he said of Mr. Hydara.

According to him, Mr. Hydara was killed on the 16 December 2004 for running the famous column: Good Morning Mr. President and also by gathering his fellow media chiefs to say no to the draconian laws.

 “He has gone but the legacy is still here and we will continue to promote divergent views as he always fought for.”

Baba Hydara, the production manager of The Point, said that he had the time to capture his late dad’s resilience and courage to promote freedom of the press.

He declared that in this new era, we should fight for press freedom and anything in order to consolidate his unfinished crusade.

“I appeal to the government to scrap the bad laws for the media,” he pleaded.

Author: Pa Modou Cham