By Yankuba Jallow
Scores of media practitioners have on Thursday converged at the Faculty of Law, University of the Gambia to commemorate World Press Freedom Day.
This date (May 3rd) set to commemorate press freedom in the globe. This time, the Gambia Press Union under the leadership of President Emil Touray commemorated the day through a symposium held at the Auditorium of the Faculty of Law, University of The Gambia with the theme “Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and Rule of Law”.
Discussants at the ground were a panel of four, namely; Dr. Baba Galleh Jallow, ASP David Kujabi, Madi Jobarteh and Muhammed B. Sowe.
The practitioners called on the government to provide the media with conducive environment through a reform of the media laws. The practitioners called for the enactment of laws that will enhance the practice of journalism.
Madi Jobarteh of Tango said President Barrow promised the entire country that once he assumed office as the President of the country he will do away with all the bad media laws in six (6) months, but that is yet to happen. He added that for fourteen months in office, the President hasn’t fulfilled his promise. He called on the government to carry out the reform process so that journalists in The Gambia can do their work more effectively and efficiently.
ASP Kujabi of the Gambia Police Force assured the media of his willingness to cooperate with the practitioners in giving out information to the public. He said the police have nothing to hide and that his doors are ever open for the media to ask or enquire about any information from him.
The Minister of Information, Demba A. Jawo, said the government has put in mechanisms to carry out with the necessary reforms. He assured that the government will do away with the bad media laws and that the press will be provided with the conducive environment to do their work.
Other speakers dilated on the importance of the press and called on the government to do away with all the bad media laws that have been hampering journalists in the country. They also called on the media to be more professional when executing their functions. Samuel Sarr of Foroyaa Newspaper also gave his expression about the Press Freedom Day.
Meanwhile, there will be judgment in the case of the Gambia Press Union against the state on Wednesday the 9th May, 2018, at the Supreme Court of the Gambia.