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Jammeh Honours Veteran Journalists, Others

Jul 29, 2008, 11:10 AM | Article By: By Baboucarr Senghore

The latest award of national honours by the head of state of the Republic of The Gambia, President Yahya Jammeh, has included four veteran members of the media fraternity, namely Mr. Swaebou Conateh of the Gambia News and Report Magazine, Mr. Pap Saine of The Point, Mr. Kebba Dibba and Mr. Serign Faye of GRTS, and of course some other prominent Gambians.

In recognition of their sustained and invaluable contribution to not only the media but the development of this great country, as well as their vision and mission for the country, the President has conferred national awards to these outstanding personalities as part of activities marking the 14thanniversary of the July 22ndrevolution.

Regarded by many as the first of its kind in the history of The Gambia, the accolade is expected to earn these journalists in particular critical acclaim both in the country and beyond, thus keeping alive their spirit to work even harder for the development of the country.

When contacted yesterday, all the personalities expressed their appreciation in receiving such honour, expressing their resolve to work even harder.

For Mr. Pap Saine, the Managing Director of The Point, the executive recognition came as a big surprise to him when he heard the news. "I accept the National Award with great pleasure. It is a plus to my career and my paper. It is also a big challenge and recognition.

"I will also redouble my efforts to meet the challenges. As journalists, we are watchdogs for the society and therefore partners in development. I would like to sincerely thank the President for honouring me while I also pray for the media fraternity."

Mr. Saine was however quick to point out that as pleased and as humbled as he is with the award, he would like to renew The Point's well repeated appeal to the government to facilitate access to information to the independent media from government circles and, more importantly, rekindle the apparently forgotten investigation into the yet unresolved murder of his friend and colleague, late Deyda Hydara.

Mr. Serign Faye, Director Radio and Television Programmes, GRTS, said that the news has brought him happiness as he felt highly honoured to be rewarded and decorated by His Excellency the President of the Republic. "It is not only an honour for me but to the whole management and staff of GRTS. Am seeing it as a challenge to redouble my efforts to serve my country to the best of my ability. I will try to live up to expectation."

In his reaction to the award, Mr. Swaebou Conateh, Publisher of the Gambia News and Report Magazine, expressed his appreciation for the award which, according to him, he has dedicated to the media fraternity in the country. "I express appreciation on my own behalf and on behalf of my fellow journalists and I hope that it will mean a further improvement in government-media relations."

For Mr. Kebba Dibba, Senior Manager Television Programmes, he is overwhelmed, noting that there is no greater honour than being made to feel that one's job is appreciated. "In-as-much as it is a reward or award, it is also a challenge for me to know that where much is given, much is expected. This is the first of its kind for such a large number of journalists from both the public and private media are been awarded. In short, I think this will push me to further tighten my belt even stronger."

Read our subsequent issues for the full list of awardees.