Oct 8, 2010, 2:07 PM
The Young Journalists Association of The Gambia (YJAG) yesterday celebrated its fifth anniversary at the Gambia Press Union secretariat in Fajara on the theme ‘Promoting Professionalism through Capacity Building.
In his introductory remarks, Nfamara Jawneh, founder president of YJAG who chaired the ceremony, said: “It is exactly five years today, when a group of young and aspiring journalists led by my humble self came together to form this great and promising association and I am happy to see it grow very well.”
In his welcome remarks, Modou S. Joof, president of YJAG, said the association was formed on 16 September 2007, by young journalists in the country who are determined to promote unity among themselves and provide capacity building to members to better enhance the practice of journalism.
“We also advocate for better pay and better working conditions for young journalists, and to complement the effort of the Gambia Press Union in promoting and defending press freedom and freedom of expression in the country,” Joof said.
He added that the annual anniversary gives them the opportunity to reflect on their successes and challenges, as well as to discuss ways of addressing such challenges.
“Since its establishment, YJAG has contributed tremendously to the development of the media in The Gambia, especially to news reportage and capacity building of members,” Joof said.
He also noted: “YJAG is worried about the fate of its members at Teranga FM, which has been shut down.”
The YJAG leader appeals to the authorities concerned to reopen the FM station, as many of its members have been affected by its closure.
In his solidarity statement, Gibairu Janneh, secretary general of GPU, congratulated YJAG for its achievements.
According to him, the event is more than a mere jubilation, as it is a moment of sober reflection and critical evaluation of YJAG and tangible development strategies to mitigate challenges encountered in the past five years and building of successes.
“The Gambia Press Union is delighted to be associated with this forum not only because the union is in firm agreement with the objectives that necessitates this forum, but also [because] YJAG is very important to the GPU as the organization is crucial to the survival of journalism in the country,” Mr Janneh said.
“YJAG is on course. In fact, among the affiliated networks of the Union, YJAG is rated among the top three. The GPU is proud of you and I hope you will continue the journey with dedication, commitment and hard work.”
Njundu Drammeh, board chairperson of YJAG, reiterated the need for more training for young journalists in the country.
Similar remarks were made by Cherno Jallow, a veteran journalist and consultant, who urges young journalists to adopt the culture of reading.
He also challenged YJAG members to remain committed to their cause while urging them to uphold the ethics of the profession.
In their votes of thanks, YJAG former president Assan Sallah and YJAG PRO Nyima Jadama thanked all those who have been supportive of the association since its inception.
Meanwhile, as part of the event, a training session was conducted on: Ethics of journalism with presentations on Ethics of child reporting, The Revised GPU Code of Conduct on Child Reportage and Code of Conduct for Journalists.