QUESTION OF THE DAY

Many people who want to invest to establish radio and TV stations are complaining of unnecessary bureaucracy to establish what is a right under the 1997 Constitution. Section 25(1)(a) states: “Every person shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, which shall include  freedom of the press and other media;”

The laws that should exist to govern the establishment of a media house must be reasonable and justifiable in a democratic society. The Gambia is starving of information from established media houses. People are relying on WhatsApp and other social media to get information.

Authorities are arresting people based on WhatsApp messages when media houses are not reaching the hinterland to give reliable information to the public. Foroyaa will begin investigation to find out how many people have applied for licences that are being delayed or denied. We will also find out how the court should intervene to promote freedom of the media. The time has come for freedom of expression and freedom of the media to be advocated for by deeds and not by empty words.

We should also add that if people are not encouraged to establish media houses under the law WhatsApp will continue to be the source of information to the general public to the detriment of truth, good faith and the public interest.

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