The leader of the opposition party, the National Reconciliation Party (NRP) Hamat Bah has expressed his impressions on the determination of young people in the media pushing on, despite the hurdles that they are faced with in their job.
Mr. Bah’s remarks came during celebrations marking 2011 World Press Day on May 3, in Banjul, an event organised by the Gambia Press Union of which he was among high profile attendees.
However, he did not loose sight of the work done by veteran journalists in the fight for a free press and freedom of expression in The Gambia.
He urge journalist to develop themselves and learn to write good English, because people are learning from them everyday. Though the event was not a political gathering, Mr. Bah emphasized the crucial role the media can play in sensitizing Gambian youths on the importance of the voter card.
“If you don’t have a voter card, you cannot make a change and we cannot let foreigners to have voter cards to vote in our elections,” he argued.
In cognizant of the fact that rural reporting is still at its low in The Gambia, he urged journalists to step up their efforts in telling the stories of the rural communities across the country.
The lives of the rural people cannot be changed if they are not adequately covered in the news, we all know that there are so many critical happenings there, he said.
On the issue if national identity in the media, Mr. Bah slams privately-owned FM Radio Stations of not broadcasting news and spend most of their time airing foreign music to the detriment of home-made music.
“Radio proprietors should patronize Gambian artists who have chosen to take music as a carrier. It is disappointing to hear Gambia radio stations playing foreign artists the whole day, which have a negative impact in our music industry,” he said.