Gambia: The Gambian Media and the Political Leaders

The licensed media are the foundation of the information system in a country. No country can have an informed citizenry without licensed media that aim to gather information on a professional basis and disseminate it without fear or favour, affection or ill will.

The same principle of integrity that governs public authorities must also govern the information, dissemination mechanism. A credible media must seek to publish the truth and what is believed to be true should the evidence be incomplete.

The media may also entertain debate based on divergent views and dissenting opinions if such debate helps to make public authorities or seekers of political office accountable to the electorate in particular and the people at large. Media practitioners however cannot be of service to the people by twisting the opinions of public figures and tilting debates towards rivalry and personal attacks that have no bearing to the public interest.

Each media house has a choice in entertaining public discourse to serve the interest of liberty and prosperity or serve as an instrument for public fracas aimed at promoting political wrangling and trivialities. It is hoped that in a new environment of openness and tolerance of divergent views the media would safeguard the principle of publishing the truth to enable the population to become informed citizens capable of charting their own destiny of liberty and prosperity.

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