#National News

‘Safety of journalists is crucial during elections’

Aug 10, 2021, 11:20 AM | Article By: Sanna Jallow

Kebba Jeffang, a Gambian journalist has said that media workers should be trained on safety measures to protect themselves especially during elections.

In a recent interview with The Point, Jeffang, who was one-time a victim of assault, noted that journalists are mostly attacked or assaulted during elections, while some even got killed in the execution of their jobs in some countries.

It is not a hidden secret that journalists around the world faced daunting challenges in the execution of their work and those in The Gambia are not an exception. Most of the attacks are during elections where most journalists experienced assault and harassment either from political parties, politicians and even security personnel.

“Most of these attacks happen mostly when politicians want journalists to report what will win the minds and hearts of the electorate. Journalists should not promote political agendas but to do their work with professionalism and accountability. Our role is to make the citizens understand each political party’s agenda and manifesto to be able to hold government accountable for certain actions and not to compromise the interest of the nation,” he added.

Jeffang also revealed that lot of things need to be done to protect journalists during the forthcoming December election, while harping on the need for more trainings on the know how to handle certain situations before going to the ground.

He added that what is common in The Gambia is that you see journalist covering political rallies and press conferences without safety assessment.

Also speaking in an interview, Muhmmed Bah, vice president of The Gambia Press Union (GPU), said GPU is engaging journalists in helping them build their capacities and that includes conducting intensive training on the safety of journalist.

The GPU, he added, is engaged in a comprehensive contingency safety plans and standard operations that will be shared with media houses, political parties and the securities to ensure the safety of journalist.

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