MUHAMMED S. BAH
Twenty Gambian journalists from both the electronic and print media have commenced a ten-day training on corruption investigation and financial reporting.
The training which is organised by the Gambia Press Union and supported by the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), was held at the NaNA Conference Hall on Monday August 19th 2019.
According to Lamin Jahateh, the Chairperson of the opening session, said the training aims to equip participants with tools on investigating corruption and financial miss-management. He said the training marks the third phase of its kind from last year.
The Gambia Press Union’s President Sheriff Bojang Jnr., urged participants to take their training seriously and referred to it as ‘a game changer for the country in the area of probity, accountability and transparency.’
“We are at a stage where the level of accountability and transparency from Government faces challenges, as it is obvious people will always talk about suspicion of corruption. But it is our responsibility to authoritatively put this out without rumors, speculation or insinuation as journalist. This is our job,” he said. He further told participants to see the event as something that will boost the knowledge and skills of Gambian journalists in holding the authorities to account.
Sang Mendy, the Managing Director of Media Academy for Journalism and Communication at the GPU, also urged the trainees to judiciously take the training seriously and endeavor to learn from their lead trainer. “We are not telling you to go out and trap yourselves but to get things done. Because if you are trained and you do not apply the knowledge gained from the training, the skill and experience just remain with you. We want you to go out there and make stories that will add value to the citizens of this country,” he said. He said as the Gambia is open to business which might likely be open to corruption and corrupt practices, they must also be open to investigation.
Tidiane Sy, a media expert from Senegal and lead trainer of the participants, urged them to exchange their experiences throughout the ten day training.
Mammy Saidykhan, one of the participants, said the training will help give her better knowledge and understanding on how to investigate corruption and financial miss-management.