#National News

GPU, Beakanyang equip journalists on countering hate speech in elections

Mar 23, 2022, 12:38 PM | Article By: Makutu Manneh

The Gambia Press Union (GPU) in collaboration with Beakanyang Kafo, a Civil Society Organisation on Monday convened a training session for journalists at the Baobab hotel.

Funded by The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the capacity building aims to equip journalists with the requisite skills to counter hate speech in run up to the country’s parliamentary elections.
At the training, Isatou Keita, vice president of The Gambia Press Union, said the move is part of  GPU's quest to hone the skills of journalists in the country not only on hate speech, but on areas crucial to the their day-to-day work.

These trainings, she added, would no doubt equip journalists on how to report responsibly without causing harm to the public.

The project, she further added, is being funded by UNDP under its low valued grant, which seeks to enhance young men and women as stakeholders in ensuring a peaceful democratic process and advocates for no to violence and hate speech.

Keita equally challenged journalists to hold politicians accountable in whatever they do.

"As politicians used our platforms to send messages to their electorates, so we should hold them accountable as to what they want to say to prevent incitement or hate speech to the wider audience." she stated.

Ms Aissata De, UNDP resident representative in The Gambia, reminded journalists of their roles especially before, during and after elections. 

“The media has a great role to play in the process when it comes to elections as dealing with the emotions, societal issues. The journalists should be the ambassadors and role models for people to understand their messages.”

Nfamara Jawneh , Executive Director of Beakanyang, described the training as ‘timely and important’, expressing his appreciation in partnering with The Gambia Press Union to organise such an important forum.

Jawneh also thanked UNDP for funding the training, further challenging media houses to be mindful of publishing content that amounts to hate speech or incite violence in the country.

He assured GPU of his organisation's readiness to continue their collaboration to ensure that journalists are able to deliver as expected.

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