Gambia makes progress in press freedom

Apr 22, 2020, 1:39 PM

Mr. Assane Diagne, director of RSF West Africa Office in Dakar yesterday told The Point Newspaper that The Gambia has moved 5 places forward in the World Press Index which re-groups 180 countries in the world.

The Gambia has moved from its 92th position of last year to 87th which is also 30.62.

It improves both its rank and its score, moving from 31.35 in 2019 to 30.35 this year, a gain of 0.75 point. It is worth noting that countries are assessed on a grid with a scale of 0 to 100. The lower the score, the better the situation of press freedom in the country.

The Gambia therefore continues their progress which started when President Adama Barrow came to power, even if the pace was slower during the year 2019.

“Why has Gambia progressed globally? First, many countries have regressed in the world. The Gambia has thus benefited.  Secondly, internally in The Gambia, some violations of press freedom were noted during the year and they must have had a negative impact on the rate of increase in the rank of The Gambia.”

He further explained that this is due to the fact that last year there were reports of press freedom violations in the country. Among them, he added, there was assault of journalists by political party activists and the slowness noted in the announced reforms of the legal framework code for the exercise of the profession. “These obstacles to freedom of information must end if the country is to maintain the momentum seen since President Adama Barrow came to power.”

“In addition, the liberticidal laws inherited from the previous regime should be repealed and the new press code adopted to achieve a more protective legal framework for journalists.”

Mr. Diagne noted that The Gambia has progressed because many other countries have regressed in the world of which The Gambia took advantage. Some violations of press freedom were also taken note of and acted upon which also increased the rank of The Gambia.