#Article (Archive)

Press Freedom, Democracy, Peas in a Pod

Feb 5, 2009, 4:23 AM

The leader of the People Progressive Party, Omar Jallow, alias OJ, has made an extremely important statement in today's edition of The Point. He has stated that there cannot be any genuine and sustainable democracy without a free and vibrant independent press. Mr. Jallow observed that the playing field for journalists in The Gambia is not the least level. He therefore called for what he said a serious improvement in The Gambia to have a vibrant and independent free press.

How those of us in the media fraternity have yearned for this scenario. We work every day burdened not only by draconian media laws but by heavy taxes on printing materials which from time to time threaten to push us over the financial edge and into bankruptcy.

Despite these constraints the media fraternity in The Gambia struggle every day to inform the people so that they might make informed political choices and also be aware of what is going on in the world around them.

This is by no means an easy task but it is an essential one and that is why we continue in our vocation.

We pray that the press freedom will increase in The Gambia in the coming years because when it does the health of our democracy will increase in tandem. We have seen a new political party emerge in recent times we hope that in the coming months and years we will see an explosion in the number of titles and publications that will join the media fraternity in bringing all the facts to the people of The Gambia so that they might make informed democratic choices.

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."