By: Dawda Baldeh
Muhammed S Bah, President of The Gambia Press Union (GPU), has urged the National Assembly through the office of the Clerk to create more avenues for journalists who want to specialize in parliamentary reporting.
The GPU president made this plea at the closing ceremony of a two-day training on parliamentary reporting for 25 journalists organized by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) in collaboration with the Gambia National Assembly between 24th and 25th January 2023 at NaNA in Kanifing.
He applauded the training organisers for allowing journalists to learn important parliamentary proceedings, procedures, and jargon used in parliament.
“I am urging the National Assembly to create more opportunities for journalists, especially those who want to specialize in reporting parliamentary matters,” he said.
Adding that the training is timely and significant for both the journalists and the National Assembly.
“Such training will help journalists to better report on parliament without distorting facts,” he added.
MS Bah, as he is widely called, describes the role of journalists and parliament as key in national development, saying there is a need for the two to collaborate.
“The parliament should provide more capacity buildings for journalists and also when members of the parliament are travelling to attend parliamentary matters outside, they should go with few journalists so they can learn more,” the GPU president suggested.
However, he encouraged journalists, parliamentary staff, and the members of parliament to work together by engaging each other when things are not working well.
In his response, Gibairu Janneh, Director of Communication ICT and Press of the National Assembly of The Gambia, gave assurances that the Assembly will continue to support building the capacity of journalists to enhance their reporting.
“We are all serving the Gambian people and this training is a manifestation of the office of the Clerk’s commitment to supporting journalists.
Building the capacity of journalists is very important for the National Assembly because they will help to interpret what happened at the parliament to the public accurately,” he said.
Mr. Janneh added that the National Assembly is committed to supporting journalists’ work.
He stated that training journalists on various aspects of the National Assembly is commendable.
“Such training will help journalists to understand the language of the parliament, their conduct in parliament, proceedings and procedures in parliament…,” he noted.
He also tasked journalists to form a network so that the parliament will also find it easy to give them the necessary support.