The Gambia Is Open to Media Self-Regulation: Malick Jones

5 May
'The government wants to better the relations and this can only work if we sit down and talk,' said Mr. Malick Jones (Photo Credit: MSJoof/FPI)

‘The government wants to better the relations and this can only work if we sit down and talk,’ said Mr. Malick Jones (Photo Credit: MSJoof/FPI)

The government of The Gambia is open to allowing the media have a self-regulatory body but   such progress can only be made through fruitful dialogue, according to a deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Information.

On Sunday, Malick Jones said The Gambia has come far from where “we were because we can today boast of at least 14 radio stations, a public television and 7 newspapers – four of which are daily.”

On May 3, 2015, a World Press Freedom Day event organised by the Gambia Press Union, UNESCO and the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, was held under the theme “Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality, and Media Safety in the Digital Age.”

“The government wants to better the relations and this can only work if we sit down and talk,” said Mr. Jones, also a prominent veteran broadcaster. “If this happens, we can regulate ourselves, not the government regulating us. We can learn a lot from Senegal and Ghana in this respect. We are waiting for funds from UNESCO to facilitate the self-regulation for the media in the country.” Continue reading

Commissioner Tlakula Urges Gambia To Adopt Model Law On Access To Information

4 May
Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, Pansy Tlakula (Photo Credit: MSJoof/FPI)

Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, Pansy Tlakula (Photo Credit: MSJoof/FPI)

Commissioner Pansy Tlakula has called on The Gambia government to join nations that have adopted the African Commission’s Access to Information Model Law which guarantees citizens absolute access to information.

“I am hoping that The Gambia will join others in adopting the Free Access to Information Act which has so far been adopted by only 16 countries across the African continent,” said Tlakula, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa. Continue reading

Special Rapporteur Criticises GPU Over Observer Status Neglect

3 May
Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, Pansy Tlakula (Photo Credit: MSJoof/FPI)

Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, Pansy Tlakula (Photo Credit: MSJoof/FPI)

The Gambia Press Union (GPU)’s leadership has come under stern criticism from the African Commission’s Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa for never utilizing its Observer Status.

“The Gambia Press Union has an ‘observer status’ but not once have they come to the office to report violations of the rights of journalists in this country,” Commissioner Pansy Tlakula said on World Press Freedom Day on Sunday.

African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) granted observer status to the GPU) on October 26, 2011 after the Union applied for it under the ARTICLE 19/GPU European Commission-funded project.

The observer status allows for the Union to make statements at the ordinary sessions of the Commission on cases of violations of press freedom and freedom of expression. Continue reading

ALERT: Gambia’s National Assembly Caution Journalists on 2015 Auditor General Report

3 May
A cross section of Gambian journalists and bloggers at an FPI training (Photo Credit: MSJoof/FPI)

A cross section of Gambian journalists and bloggers at an FPI training (Photo Credit: MSJoof/FPI)

The Gambia’s National Assembly has warned newspaper parliamentary correspondents to stop publishing findings by a damning report on alleged fraud, misappropriation of public funds and managerial malpractices, local journalists told FPI Tuesday.

The Report of the Auditor General 2015, published in April by the National Audit Office, catalogs a series of instances in which public institutions are alleged to have misused taxpayers’ funds.

The findings are being brought to the attention of the public in publications by at least three independent newspapers.

‘Will not be accepted’ Continue reading

Leave Newsrooms To Journalists: Special Rapporteur Tells Politicians

3 May
Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, Pansy Tlakula (Photo Credit: MSJoof/FPI)

Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, Pansy Tlakula (Photo Credit: MSJoof/FPI)

The Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa has told politicians to get out of the newsrooms and allow journalists to do their work.

“We call on politicians to leave the newsrooms and allow journalists to do their work according to the code of conduct. Journalists should also stay away from politics,” Commissioner Pansy Tlakula said on Sunday.

The media must ensure the highest level of responsibility of professional ethics, she said in Banjul during a World Press Freedom Day event organised by the Gambia Press Union, UNESCO and the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner on May 3, 2015. Continue reading

Confrontation Does Not Work: Pansy Tlakula Tells GPU To Dialogue With Government

3 May
Local journalists attend event marking World Press Freedom Day on May 3, 2015 (Photo Credit; MSJoof/FPI)

Local journalists attend event marking World Press Freedom Day on May 3, 2015 (Photo Credit; MSJoof/FPI)

The Gambia Press Union (GPU) should engage The Gambia government in dialogue on its advocacy for press freedom and freedom of expression, according to the African Commission’s Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information.

“You should change your strategy by engaging in dialogue with the government because confrontation does not work,” Commissioner Pansy Tlakula said in Banjul at an event marking World Press Freedom Day organised by the GPU, UNESCO and the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner on May 3, 2015. Continue reading

Banjul Crowned ‘Capital City’ of Human Rights Violation

30 Apr
Map of The Gambia (Photo Credit: lonelyplanet.com)

Map of The Gambia (Photo Credit: lonelyplanet.com)

A damning report by ARTICLE 19 West Africa has named the city of Banjul as the “capital of human rights violations in Africa.”

“Today, Banjul has become the capital of human rights violations in Africa, thus undermining the credibility of the African mechanism for human rights,” according to the report, Freedom of Expression and Human Rights Situation in The Gambia.

The report was presented on Wednesday April 29 to the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) at its 56th Ordinary Session being held in Banjul.

It noted that freedom of expression is an important pillar in the protection of human rights, and without it other human rights will be meaningless. Continue reading

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