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Recognising the role of mass media

Aug 9, 2011, 12:52 PM

The Commonwealth Secretariat in collaboration with the Government of the Gambia and the University of The Gambia last Friday ended a week-long capacity building exercise in the media sector.

The forum, on the topic “Media and Economic Development in a Globalising World” was, among others, aimed at stimulating debate on emerging economic development and democracy issues, as well as journalism and professionalism in the region.

The forum, which was also geared towards strengthening partnerships and links for effective dialogue, was said to be in response to a request by the Government of The Gambia for capacity building in the media.

This is not only innovative; it is also commendable. We believe the rationale behind such an important forum is in the recognition that the role of the media is to serve the world.

Capacity building has been prominent in development projects of various kinds for the last two decades. Capacity building refers to efforts at developing this ability among particular groups, resulting in enhanced potential to manage their own needs.

The realisation of the Millennium Development Goals and other worldly development targets hinges on capabilities of individuals, organisations and societies to transform in order to reach their development objectives.

This cannot be achieved in the absence of the mass media. In this day and age, Mass Media is all over. It surmounts the activity of the people. It shapes, forms and influences the buying decision of the majority through advertising schemes and expresses views on our daily existence.

Developing the capacity of the Media in any given field is a sure way of reaching out to many as the media send information, ideas and opinions to a complex audience.

The media are a very integral part of our lives and, therefore, they generate particular interest and debate about any social problem that we can think of. The media play a significant role in how people view and react to certain events and issues.

It is said that the mass media provide the most powerful communication tools to create the proper environment for everyone in the world.

The mass media have become an instrument of correction for the world, in response to society’s demand.

However, only a powerful and broad-based media will be able to influence a person in such a way that he/she will feel the need to change his/her relationship with his/her environment.

It is very important to have a well-informed media, because it keeps the people properly informed, and gives them suggestions on how to improve their lives.

“The role of the media is to serve the world.”


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