#Article (Archive)

Let professionalism prevail

Nov 10, 2011, 1:03 PM

We have cause once again to urge journalists to let professionalism take precedence over prejudice in the coverage of the Presidential Election slated for November 24.
Indeed, it would be recalled that it was for this very reason that the International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ) in collaboration with the Gambia Press Union (GPU) recently schooled reporters on the intricacies of election coverage and reporting.
In their appraisal of the four-day workshop, journalists themselves affirmed that a journalist must transcend sentiments in the discharge of his or her duty.
They were also reminded, by their various resource persons, that journalists must not stoop so low as to accept material gratification from politicians.
Then, as now, we believe that a journalist must be seen to be doing his or her job without fear or favour, affection or ill-will.
We remain inflexible in our position that this must be the case, because we know the dire consequences of a perverted journalism.
The Rwandan and Burundian tragedies, as well as the Miss World Pageant riots in Nigeria are some of the catastrophes a misguided journalism could bring about.
As the official campaign for the presidential election is set to start Saturday, journalists must bend over backwards to ensure that the profession is not dragged through the mud, through accusations of biased reporting and coverage.
We insist that it is not the job of a journalist, under any guise, to swing support for any political party.
The job of the journalist is to present all contending views, opinions, positions, and platforms to the electorate so that they can make an informed choice.
What every Gambian yearns for is a purposeful leader who can improve their economic and social status.
The Gambia is bigger than, and will outlive, any individual.

In the long history of the world, we have seen that leaders come and go, but nations always remain.
Those who aspire to rule, or who are privileged to rule, should not see leadership as an opportunity to settle scores or amass wealth; instead, they should take it as an opportunity to serve the country selflessly.
The world remembers Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Kwame Nkrumah, Nelson Mandela not because of the wealth they amassed, but because they took on a cause bigger than themselves and, therefore, changed their societies for the better.
This is what our journalists must do: to help society invest in good leadership that can provide us with political, economic and social redemption.

“Our country, right or wrong! When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right!”

Carl Schurz