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"Moral Responsibility of Press Outlined in Quran" - Jaiteh

Jan 27, 2009, 5:09 AM | Article By: Malamin Conteh & Abdou Rahman Sallah

Mr. Haruna Jaiteh, the judicial secretary at the Office of the Chief Justice, has observed that the moral responsibility of the press has been succinctly outlined in the Holy Koran. He said that when the very first murder case in the entire human existence was being reported in Chapter 5 (Al Maida) God made Himself very clear in authorising the publication of the story.

He said as an editor would to his reporter, God enjoined the reporter (in that case the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), to these words: "Recite/Report to them (the readers) the story of the two sons of Adam with truth."  He added that God went on to add in another Sura that: "There is nothing besides the truth save falsehood."

According to him, these short Quranic verses clearly set the tone and standard for all journalists and pressmen covering all spheres of humanity.

Mr. Jaiteh made this remark yesterday while delivering a keynote address at the opening of a three-day training workshop for court reporters held at The Gambia Press Union (GPU) offices in Bakau.

The training is organised by 'Media Agenda' in collaboration with NATCOM.

Mr. Jaiteh maintained that this training is both significant and timely.

He said: "This training activity, which I understand is the first of its kind, is both significant and timely. Judging from the number of participants, it is clear that the Gambian media nurtures considerable interest in court matters. This, to my mind, augurs very well with the country's relentless drive towards achieving meaningful constitutional and social development."

He said the training would immensely contribute in enhancing the quality of the work of court reporters, noting that court reporters have a social and public duty, to feed the public with mature, relevant and accurate information. He therefore challenged court reporters to live up to this duty.

Judicial Secretary Jaiteh posited that the courts and the press are two necessary partners and complementary pillars in the whole governance enterprise.

"The relationship between the courts and the press is simple one way traffic: the press transmits the cases to the public. And herein lies your responsibility," he said.