The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) in partnership with the Gambia Press Union (GPU) and the Foundation for Legal Aid, Research and Empowerment (FLARE), yesterday, organised a four-day workshop on Investigative Journalism for selected media practitioners at the new GPU Secretariat in Fajara.
"The significance and value of investigative journalism is like a special force in the military, if you talk about investigative journalism it would be like a special force doing a special job," asserted Mr. Madi Jobarteh, the FLARE Coordinator.
Mr. Jobarteh who is also the Deputy Director of TANGO in his statement stressed the importance of the training especially for a developing country like ours. He stressed the importance of reporting on issues of corruption, politics and to hold the government accountable. He said many things are happening in our society which are more than workshops.
Mr. Jobarteh further revealed that many transactions are taking place by the public incorporates and the private sector as well which are out of order. He emphasised the point that the investigative journalist should be a watchdog of the government. He reminds the journalists about the report of the Auditor General to the National Assembly which he said should be properly followed.
"If you take the program effectively, you will be able to take the boundaries of the Gambian journalism to the higher heights," he asserted.
However, Mr. Bai Emil Touray, the President of the Gambia Press Union in his opening statement asserted that the Union is proud to be associated with the training program. He expressed his conviction that the journalist can change a lot of things in the country if they work effectively. Although, he said, they cannot report on certain issues if they did not have professional skills.
"It is important to cover issues that affect the lives of the ordinary people in our society. The work of investigative journalism is not only to expose but also to change things," he pointed out.
The ICFJ Country Director, Mr. Alieu Sagnia, in his introductory remarks at the opening ceremony introduced Mr. Lanre Arogandate, the resource person from Nigeria. He explained that Mr. Arogandate is the Director of the International Media Center in Lagos. He also introduced Mr. Aloa Ahmed Alota, the Executive Director of the Gambia Press Union, and the Co-author of 'The Living Mirror' a book on the death of the slain Gambian journalist Deyda Hydara, working with the resource person.
Meanwhile, the workshop is attended by selected investigative journalists including senior editors, editors, senior reporters and reporters from all the local newspapers in the country. The workshop is scheduled to wrap up on Saturday 10th November 2012.