We take Info minister’s advice seriously

Friday, March 31, 2017

Journalists in The Gambia, especially those covering the National Assembly elections, have been advised to be security-conscious, as they carry out their duties in society.

We take this advice with all seriousness, more so that it is coming from no other person than our own minister responsible for Information and Communication Infrastructure.

Indeed, while we have the feeling that we are now operating under a new order and governance that seems to guarantee freedom of expression and of the press, we cannot really take things for granted.

A case in point was the recent manhandling and victimization of one of our dear colleagues, who was subjected to such in the hands of some party militants and supporters, right under the watch of the current government ministers that have supposedly guaranteed freedom of expression, press freedom and human rights in this country.

This is an unfortunate incident the Information minister himself made reference to, while delivering the closing remarks at a three-day training  for journalists on elections coverage and security in the electoral process, held at the TANGO conference Hall by Article 19 in partnership with the Gambia Press Union (GPU).

“I can assure you that we are going to give you the right atmosphere to operate. However, the unfortunate incident where a journalist was roughly handled by political party supporters is very regrettable; but it is also a wake up alert for everyone else to see that things cannot be taken for granted and anything can happen, as journalists.”

We would, therefore, like to say the point and concern expressed by the Information minister is well noted, and we will endeavour to be really security-conscious while discharging our noble duty to society to the best of our ability, and with no intent to cause harm to anyone, but help in making society a better place for all.

We are aware that sometimes as journalists we tend to step on toes and there is no guarantee that those toes, as the minister rightly stated, may not be unpleasant with us.

However, we will continue to serve our people and ensure that we continue to be, as they say, the watchdog of government, in the interest of the people, without fear, favour or ill will.

We very well know that the truth is a bitter pill to swallow, but it is good for our soul, for human development and between us as human beings and our Creator.

So we will continue to do our job professionally, and help humanity and society to grow.

We would, therefore, like to thank Article 19, the GPU and all those who supported the training course, for the good initiative.

“I stand for freedom of expression, doing what you believe in, and going after your dreams ”
Madonna Ciccone