Editorial And GPU Arrives
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
This included our own deputy editor-in-chief, Lamin Njie, who spent a weekend there. Today Newspaper’s editor, Adiamoh was also there. Unlike Editor Njie, who was cautioned and freed, Editor Adiamoh was fined heavily. While the journalists were struggling to recover from the two incidents, The Daily Observer’s longstanding court reporter, Sidiq, was detained at Mile 2, also on the orders of the courts, for his report.
However, we have seen that the journalists, as required of them by the ethics of their profession, had accepted wrongdoing where they had gone wrong. Some did not wait to be told that they were wrong. They ran corrections in their subsequent issues, apologising to the public for the misinformation, as well as to the concerned court of law for any inconvenience.
In addition, fellow court reporters accepted that their colleagues were at fault. Even the GPU President’s take on the issue was that the faulty publications were unacceptable. None of them however, believed that the method of punishment meted out on the wrongdoers by the courts was appropriate.
Yet the courts on the other hand saw the corrections as not enough. They exercised what they thought was in accordance with their powers. Arrest warrants were issued against the journalists and effected accordingly. Indeed, this was not the type of relationship desired between the judges and the journalists.
The Gambia Press Union could therefore not think better than come up with a training programme designed to refresh court reporters and editors on the fundamentals of court reporting. It is the understanding of this paper that the Chief Justice has accepted to deliver the opening lecture. Other judges such as Emmanuel Nkea will also deliver a topic at the three-day event, which could not come at a better time.
While praying for a fruitful meeting, we hope that the journalists will come out from the workshop better informed on the dos and donts as far court reporting is concerned. This is quite assured with the calibre of resource persons drawn from the bench itself and the themes to be discussed, such as contempt, among others. Perhaps more importantly, it is also hoped that the convergence will result in the creation of an understanding between the journalists and the courts.