Gambia: Pura, the Minister of Information and the Broadcasting Media

Powers and rights must co-exist in a democracy. The co-existence is only possible if power and rights are properly guided by democratic laws. What is expected of a changed Gambia is legal reform to ensure that the laws established will restrain power and enlarge rights, but will also create a code of conduct in the exercise of rights so that they will not go beyond the bounds of the law.

The closure of two radio stations could only be done if the licences given to those stations are suspended or revoked. The Information and Communication Act sought to create the instrument and institutions through which radio stations are made to comply with a code of conduct prepared by an independent body that would monitor its observance by those who operate broadcasting stations.

PURA is the institution that should develop the capacity to monitor the observance of a code of conduct designed for broadcasters. It is surprising that broadcasters are being accused of breaches of the law without the principal institution responsible for monitoring being put in the limelight. Foroyaa will therefore request for more information from PURA and further gather the content of the code of conduct prescribed for broadcasters. In the meantime, the state should remove any suspension of operation of any radio station.

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