May 7, 2008, 6:49 AM
The press club of Nusrat Senior Secondary School on Monday September 14th 2009, began a two-day capacity-building workshop for its members, at the school grounds in Bundunkakunda.
The retreat is aimed at building the capacities of student journalists on responsible journalism.
Speaking at the occasion, Nfamara Jawneh, the President of The Young Journalists Association of The Gambia (YJAG) informed aspiring journalists that journalism is a noble profession and as a result, it requires a high sense of professionalism.
According to him, responsibility implies rights, duties and obligations.
He said that "when all the editorial staff of a media house discharges their duties accordingly their performance is described as organised, professional and responsible".
Responsible journalism, he stated, implies where journalists are not biased in their work, but rather write and report what they see without exaggeration or leaving out essential details.
"It has been observed that some journalists try and enhance what they see, or leave out some relevant parts of the story, because they are lazy or don't want the truth to be seen," he stated.
"As journalists you must know that people will recognise your honesty, watch how you report and what you report on", says YJAG leader.
He told aspiring journalists that most important objectives of a journalist, whether professional or student are to thoroughly gather fairly, accurately and completely deliver contents that serve their audience.
He encouraged students to always write for their school magazine and newsletters to help enhance their capabilities.
Such an initiative can also boost responsible journalism at school level, he added.
"Let me give you an example, the Principal of the school is sending female students from school because they are putting on veil. As a reporter for the school magazine, you got the story and went further to interview the students and wanted to publish it in the paper, but your teacher Coordinator refused to let it go. Is this responsible journalism?" This, according to him, is not responsible journalism. No!
Also, he cited "You heard that the President announces that, a major government shake-up is in the offing. Later on, he sacked two or three Ministers the following day, you run a story announcing the sacking of two other ministers who were in fact never sacked. Is this responsible journalism? I said No".
"As young journalists you must bear in mind that responsible journalism is all about being responsible of whatever you write or report. Remember that when you want your editor to trust you, you must show him or her that you are responsible; otherwise you will find it difficult even to get your stories published.
Jawneh used the opportunity to extend YJAG's invitation to the 2nd anniversary celebrations of the young journalist's body, slated for Wednesday 16th September 2009, to be held at GPU.