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‘We will try to build capacity of media houses’- Info Minister

May 18, 2017, 11:41 AM | Article By: Kaddijatou Jawo

The Minister of Information has said his ministry and the government would try to do their utmost to build the capacity of media houses across the country.

Minister Jawo made this remark yesterday at The Point Newspaper office during his familiarization tour of media houses.

He reiterated that since Deyda Hydara was killed he has continued to work with the management of The Point to see ensure Deyda’s legacy lives on and that he would do “absolutely everything possibly” to ensure the paper continues its function.

He stated that he has toured the office and seen the constraints the management is facing with challenges such as machines and paper yet it still manages to come out every day and that he is really impressed with The Point.

“I can assure you that the ministry we will do their utmost to build the capacity of the various media houses because it is in the interest of the Government and all Gambians that the media is given the capacity to be able to operate,” he said.

Malik Jones, the Deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Information, Communication and Infrastructure, who accompanied the minister, said training for journalists and other workers within media houses cannot be overemphasised.

DPS Jones added that even though the training will be short-term, it will still be relevant because it will help journalists to be able to report professionally.

The General Manager of The Point Newspaper Philip Kotey, and the son of the late Deyda Hydara, Baba Hydara, thanked Minister Jawo for the visit and welcomed him back to his own place.

Baba Hydara also spoke on behalf of Pap Saine citing the challenges The Point newspaper is facing and how best the Information ministry should intervene in one way or the other to make the work easier, especially in the area of production.

Ousman Kargbo, the Chief-editor of The Point Newspaper, thanked the information minister and his team for the courtesy call.

He stated that the paper is facing numerous challenges among which are lack of proper equipment, training for journalists, as well as access to information.

He also called for draconian media laws in the country to be abrogated, adding that lack of access to information is making the work of journalists very difficult when it comes to reporting. He therefore emphasized the necessity for press officers at the ministries and government departments through whom journalists could also access information.

The Point’s web manager Mary Banky Njie also thanked the minister and welcomed him back to The Point as his office.

She said they also need training for the layout editors to make their job easier, adding that this will make the design of the newspaper improve.

“We need new computers as well as furniture to be able to do our job well and when we have all the necessary equipment it will help us to follow the trend in terms of designing and making the newspaper nicer,” she said.

One of the layout editors, who was injured in her leg during the assassination of the late Deyda Hydara, Nian Sarang Jobe, also thanked the information minister for his support in ensuring they got better medication at the time of the incident. The information minister was then the president of the Gambia Press Union.