Jun 18, 2009, 7:47 AM
Anybody, whether or not they have a military background, will tell you how effective the divide and conquer method of warfare is. If you divide a group you halve their strength, and you can use any acrimony which exists in the split camp to your full advantage.
While we do not want to be seen as taking sides in the ongoing debate in the media between Gambian journalists themselves, we believe that such attacks and counter attacks will be music to the ears of those in The Gambia who hate journalists and what they do and stand for.
As a profession, journalists must be like other professions and speak with one unified voice. One organisation can be a better advocate for the rights and entitlements than two or even three.
Aside from serving those that would wish to harm journalists, a disunited voice among journalists will greatly weaken their ability to collectively bargain.
Journalists in The Gambia have an umbrella which is the Gambia Press Union, and it is the Union that should address issues surrounding the welfare of journalists in this country.
While we appeal for calm on all sides, let us all, like the professionals that we are, weigh up the pros and cons, analyze our situation carefully and then come to any decisions we may wish to make with clear uncluttered minds.
We must remember that the GPU exists not because of our differences, but what we share in common.
We are journalists; we are the voice of the voiceless; we are the scourge of corruption and the champion of those who would be subject to human rights violations or violence of any kind at the hands of those who wield power.
For this reason, we again appeal to the better nature, the common bond and the solidarity between journalists in The Gambia to prevail.
Let us avoid a split at all costs. Nothing is so broken that it cannot be fixed.
No sin is too great that it cannot be forgiven. Let by-gones be by-gones and let us make a fresh start, for the good of all of us.
When we fight amongst ourselves it serves only to strengthen our enemies’ position.
Our duty as guardians of free speech and freedom of expression is not only to ourselves, so that we as journalists can work free from intimidation and fear, but to all the people of The Gambia, so that they might also enjoy these freedoms.
The way we can best achieve these goals is if we as a group are unified in our purpose and position, and speak with one unified voice!
“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.”