#Article (Archive)

Let's Empower This Brave New Generation

Sep 17, 2008, 5:13 AM

Congratulations to the Young Journalists Association of The Gambia who celebrated one year in existence yesterday. We very regularly hear people say in this country that the youth are the future leaders and this is most definitely true of our young journalists. In the future these young men and women will be on the front lines fighting for truth, justice and democracy. Indeed many of them are already involved in this noble struggle. They are working in our media houses and working diligently to inform the public and make the truth widely known.

We must support them in this endevour as it will ultimately benefit every Gambian. The only person who fears the truth is the one who has something to hide. Many people critisise journalists, young and old, and attempt to smear their name by saying that they do not print the truth. But to print the truth journalists need to have access to it. To publicise information they must also have access to it. In an open society information is not constricted and the journalists job is much easier.

Another very important aspect of journalism is training. We must ensure that journalists have access to training through a course at the University of The Gambia. If this is put in place then young people who wish to ply this noble trade can have a solid grounding in the basics of the craft. They can also be introduced and educated in best practice. If these steps are taken then we will have a generation of journalists who will adhere to the strictest codes of practice simply because they are aware of them. While there is no doubting that the young journalists of The Gambia have only the best interests of the nation at heart and are unlikely to carry out malicious acts on purpose, we must empower them to make informed choices with regard to their chosen career. We owe it to them.