Nov 18, 2009, 2:39 PM
Gambia Press Union (GPU) at the weekend organised a three-day election
reporting workshop for 20 community radio broadcasters.
Funded by the Washington DC-based International Republican Institute, the workshop was held at Baobab Hotel, Bijilo.
It was part of union’s mandate to raise the competency of reporters for pre, during and post-electoral events reportage.
Veteran broadcast journalist Malik Jones in his keynote statement at the opening of the event said the media plays a vital role in elections.
Jones, who is also the deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Information, added: “This workshop is a great opportunity for you to learn important aspects of the electoral process. It aims to strengthen your capacity in reporting accurately on issues pertaining to the elections.”
Jones applauded the GPU and the International Republic Institute for putting professional development of journalists at the very top of their agenda.
GPU secretary-general Saikou Jammeh said the workshop was aimed at building the capacities and competencies of community radio broadcasters to be able to report effectively on elections.
“This is timely as the country heads to the polls on December 1 for presidential election which will shortly be followed by National Assembly and local government elections respectively,” he said.
Jammeh said the GPU expected those trained to go back and share their experiences with their colleagues, and as well utilise the skills gained by adequately informing the voting public on the importance of elections, its processes and procedures.
“We, more importantly, want them to give voice to the voters during this crucial period,” he said.
The journalists who attended the three-day workshop were taken through the media guidelines on election reporting, ethical and legal considerations in election reporting, conflict sensitive journalism, among others.