Why access to information is difficult in The Gambia?
Monday, August 06, 2012
It is often said that the best indicator to gauge the impact of the press in any given society is its level of relationship with the ruling clique.
If the relationship is very cordial, then it invariably means that the press has not lived up to the expectations of the down-trodden masses.
There is no doubt that anyone who cares for the truth will agree that The Gambian journalists are playing a very significant role in the process of disseminating accurate information to the public.
The public, too, should know that journalists do not make news, instead it is happenings that they report on. So why should it be so hard to access information in its best way?
Is it because of too much of interference of the government in all sectors that is frightening people to speak out on issues of legitimate public interest?
The saddest thing is that e.g. even if an accident occur and a government vehicle is involved, if you ask the eye witnesses, they tend not to know.
Let Gambians know that this country belongs to everyone of us, and can only be developed by us and not foreigners.
Let us stop the praise-singing and to see one man as a semi-god.
It is apparently difficult to access information in all the African dictatorial countries, particularly in The Gambia because every media outfit that is worth its salt, and ready to give forum to all shade of opinions, while most African governments do not have the ears for dissenting views and opinions.
Inevitably, therefore, journalists in such African countries, particularly The Gambia, are often branded as enemies of the state who should be closely monitored and controlled just because they choose to side with the people rather than the ruling clique.
It is very sad and disheartening that our head of state seems to forget that during the military junta, they were using journalists to achieve their agenda.
The president was quoted as saying that the country was spoiled and lacked development because of too much of praise-singing during the first republic. But the question here is: How many praise-singers did we have in the second republic?
Let Gambians start fighting for democracy and humanity, and know that democracy does not come in a silver plate. Freedom has to be fought for.
Let all Gambians also know that legitimate opposition and freedom of speech are some of the pillars of democracy, which are sacrosanct and inviolable.
Author: Ousman A. Marong Journalism Student.