On the GPU investigative training!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Crimes such as corruption and money laundering are an increasing enterprise affecting many economies in developing countries. Therefore, it takes a careful study and deep investigation to expose the multi-million dollar schemes of criminal network.

On Monday The Gambia Press Union (GPU) with funding from the United Nations Democracy Fund began a10-day training for 20 journalists on investigative journalism.

The Gambia like most of our neighbours in the sub-region are faced with numerous and similar challenges. These include corruption and money laundering and its related crimes. That makes this training more important and timely as it seeks to provide in-depth reporting skills on corruption and financial issues for the 20 Gambian journalists.

The Gambia is at a critical stage in which the level of accountability and transparency within the government is facing a lot of challenges.

The media and by extension journalists is regarded as the fourth estate or watch dog of society.

This makes the work of journalists, which is regarded as the Fourth Estate or Watch Dog of society, more important to hold our public officials accountable. Other responsibilities include putting issues in clear perspective for people in communities to be able to make informed decisions. Society relies on journalists for information about current happenings.

As stated by one of the speakers at the opening, the training is hands-on, with the participants undergoing extensive exercises which will lay a foundation for specialisation.

However, investigative journalists worldwide face challenges not only from criminal network of drug dealers and human traffickers, but also from governments officials who sometimes work hand-in-hand with these criminal network, or whose own corruption and mismanagement create a rich environment for criminals.

Nevertheless, we challenge these trainees to keep exposing corruption because it is the right thing to do. Remember that it is a never-ending job. But don’t despair about the lack of immediate impact as continuing to tell the truth is already a win giving the circumstances.

We therefore commend The GPU for the foresight to arm members of the Fourth Estate with requisite knowledge to be able to hold our leaders accountable.

“I don’t believe newspaper reporters can substitute for a district attorney, but a newspaper has a very valid investigative role. Newspaper reports on corruption in government, racketeering and organized crime conditions can be very helpful to your communities and the whole country.”

Robert Kennedy