The Young Journalists Association of The Gambia (YJAG) is this month celebrating its 9th year anniversary under the theme: ‘Role of Journalists in The Gambia’s Democratization Process’.
Since its formation on 16th September 2007, YJAG continues to play a critical role in the advancement of the media industry and the country as a whole.
Many high school students were inspired and encouraged to consider venturing into the journalism career after their graduation thanks to YJAG’s trainings.
YJAG members across the country are handling critical editorial duties in various media houses and are performing very well.
As we mark this year’s anniversary, we would like to reflect on some of the founding principles and objectives of the association which includes to promote press freedom and freedom of expression in the country and to promote the welfare of our members.
During the past nine years of our existence, we have witnessed unprecedented press freedom violations thus forcing many young and promising journalists to go in exile including some of our members.
As we prepare for the forthcoming presidential elections in December, YJAG is very much concerned about the plight of its members who will be covering the political campaigns of various presidential candidates.
We therefore urge authorities and stakeholders particularly security forces, Independent Electoral Commission, political parties and their supporters to allow journalists to carry out their duties freely in the upcoming elections.
By so doing, we would be able to contribute meaningfully in the country’s democratization process and by holding candidates accountable to the people to enable them make informed choices.
In the same vein, we would like to encourage media houses in the country to do more for their reporters especially young ones by providing them attractive incentives to encourage them perform even much better.
On this special day of ours, we are calling on the government of the Gambia to consider repelling all draconian media laws to make the country a safe haven for journalists.
To the members of YJAG, we encourage you all to remain committed to the development of the association and pay your dues on time.
The Young Journalists Association of The Gambia (YJAG) is an independent non-profit making organization. The association was formed by a group of young journalists with foresight and vision who thought it wise to come together to promote mutual understanding and the general wellbeing of young journalists in the country.
The association was legally registered with the Attorney General’s Chamber on 16th September, 2007. YJAG has members from both the print and electronic media houses nationwide, as well as aspiring journalists from press clubs of senior secondary schools. The objectives of the association include promoting press freedom and freedom of expression, promoting unity among young journalists; provide capacity building, and addressing the welfare of its members, among others.
The association is also tasked with the responsibility to facilitate the recruitment of aspiring journalists into the profession. Since its establishment 9 years ago, the association has contributed tremendously to the development of the Gambian media industry, especially on capacity building of its members on news reporting as well as advocating for press freedom and freedom of expression in the country.