GPU-Fajara Monday May 23 – The Gambia Press Union on Friday May 20, 2016 convened a stakeholder’s forum at the Gambia Telecommunications and Multimedia Institute to validate a code of conduct for journalists in the country.
The forum, which brought together media experts, publishers, practitioners, civil society, media regulators and government officials, also validated and adopted media guidelines for reporting on gender-based violence.
Addressing the meeting, the deputy permanent secretary, Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure, commended the GPU for coming up with a code that serves as an ethical guide for journalists in the country.
Mr Malick Jones said. “In every game there are rules. A code of conduct for journalists is found in almost every country. For the GPU to come up with a code is important and timely. It’s a well-crafted document. This is a good start and my ministry has endorsed it.”
“I’m here on behalf of my minister [Sheriff Bojang]. We at the ministry see ourselves as partners of the GPU. The press and government should therefore work hand in glove.”
The veteran broadcaster expressed regret over the unavailability of the public media at the validation forum. He particularly urged them to embrace the code in the execution of their public broadcasting services.
Also speaking, the president of the GPU, Bai Emil Touray, said: “The GPU has for the past many years been trying to put together a blueprint to help guide us in our journalistic work. Now, through this code, and when adhered to, the likelihood of journalists getting into trouble will be minimised.
“The introduction of the code will improve our journalistic work and paint a positive image of the journalism profession. As journalists, we have our shortcomings. What is important is for us to begin a process like this. Our hope is that this process will pave the way for the setting up of a desirable self-regulatory body.”
The event was chaired by the director of the GPU-GAMES project, Mr Sang Mendy, who also spoke on behalf of Mr Nana Grey Johnson, the dean of Faculty of Journalism and Digital Media, the University of the Gambia.
He said: “The school of journalism is in support of the code. It is through this that journalists will be able to know what to report and how to report it.”
The GPU code of conduct for journalists will be published into a pocket-size booklet and officially launched on Saturday May 28, 2016, as part of events marking the commemoration of World Press Freedom Day. The booklet will also contain the code of conduct for reporting on children’s issues, produced in collaboration with Child Protection Alliance and media guidelines for reporting on gender-based violence, produced in collaboration with the Network Against Gender-Base Violence.