#National News

MAJaC ends training on electoral coverage for Community Media

Aug 31, 2021, 12:54 PM | Article By: Jariatou  Kandeh

The Media Academy for Journalism and Communication (MAJaC) on Sunday wrapped-up a three-day training on electoral coverage for Community Radios in the Lower River and North Bank Regions. 

The training is part of the implementation of the Strengthening Participatory Democracy Through Media and Civil Society Organizations (SPADE) project. It attracted sixteen (16) media staff representing all community radios in LRR and NBR.

Sang Mendy, managing Director of MAJaC, who doubles as the project manager, said the training is significant as the country heads to the December election.

The training, he added, is aimed at strengthening the capacity of journalists and civil society organisations on how to cover elections, saying there is need to build capacity of key stakeholders. 

"We are doing this because we want the beneficiaries to be better equipped to perform their duties well ahead of elections. Journalists cover elections as reporters and as observers while Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) cover elections as observers but also participate in raising awareness, so it is important to build their capacity.”

Mendy expressed hope that the beneficiaries would use the knowledge, skills, and the experience gathered to effectively inform the public and as well cover the upcoming elections extensively and without flaws.

The SPADE programme manager noted that provincial people are usually left out, that was why MAJaC came up with this training for community media journalists and CSO’s actors as they deal directly with rural people, who often times are not very well informed of their rights and responsibilities. 

He promised that MAJaC would continue carrying out such kind of training for community radio staff.

Sainey Fofana, a representative of the Soma Community Radio, said the training is very important for him as he is dealing with the community directly. 

The training, he added, would undoubtedly build his capacity to produce presentable news stories for his people in the community, enlighten them about politics of this country especially this coming elections. 

He described the training as ‘long overdue’, saying it takes time before community radio staff gets such type of training.

Fatoumata Fatty, a participant from Niumi FM, said the training would help her a lot in election coverage because journalists have a great role to play.

Fatty said that was not her first training on election coverage, but that she felt much more comfortable and hopes to have more experience and skills from the training.

“After the training, I would go back to her community to engage the people, sensitise them on issues relating to elections and development hence it is their right to be informed.” 

The SPADE is a nine-month project co-implemented by MAJaC and partners, the Gambia Media Support-GAMES. The project seeks to empower Journalists, CSO members and Community media staff with requisite knowledge, skills and experience in election reporting. The project will conduct similar training in other regions.