The cabinet appointment of another journalist into the cabinet; and above all to serve as minister responsible for media is welcoming. The Daily News wish to take this opportunity to congratulate Hon Sherriff Bojang senior for what we call a big achievement. Bojang once again congratulations and we wish you all the best.
However we are worried, looking at what is happening to the media in this country.Your appointment has therefore raised our hopes too high. You are coming at a time when this country’s press freedom is at its lowest ebb. It is our thought that you would be someone who will be looking from inside rather than looking from outside of the ring. And therefore we do not need to tell you much; we think you know it already.
The arbitrary closure of media outlets is the order of the day. Just the day you were appointed Foroyaa newspaper which has already gone to press raised the question, and said the closure of media houses would be a thing of the past as part of their New Year editorials. They were calling on your government to re-open the Daily News; and at the same time asking if Taranga radio was closed. This is the kind of media landscape you inherit.
Your own media house was shut down for almost a year and half and you were extended a good will gesture at the beginning of 2014. Taranga radio was also closed at the same time when both Standard and the Daily Newspaper were shut.
Again reports have it that Taranga was shut again; just a few days after the attempted coup against the government of the Gambia. That latest closure was an extension of the closure of Citizen FM, and Citizen Newspaper, SUd fm and that of the Independent newspaper.
The above are against the backdrop of the 10 years unresolved case of the killing of Deyda Hydara which the media fraternity just commemorated.This is not to mention the very bad media laws that are already in place.
So Mr. Minister there is a lot on your table; we wish you all the best and hope you will be able to tackle them and tackle them well. The media fraternity is not expecting you to add salt to injury so may Allah guide you.