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MAJaC Signs With PTCIJ Partnership On Capacity Building

Caroline Anipah of Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism and Sang Mendy of MAJaC each holding a copy of the signed MoU


By Landing Ceesay 

Media Academy for Journalism and Communication (MAJaC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on capacity building with Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ). 

The MoU is meant to enhance capacity building through training, collaboration on media, communication, and information research; as well as see the two institutions host a national election intervention programme beginning with 2021 general elections and as well explore areas such as data journalism as a component of media innovation and revenue generation.  

Speaking at the signing ceremony Sang Mendy Managing Director of MAJaC said his academy has a very good Journalism programme but cannot teach everything, thus, the reason for the partnership. 

“We know that we have a very good journalism programme but then we cannot also teach everything in our journalism programme. If you go through our Journalism programme there is no point where we teach people on fact checking. We do media and information literacy but information disorder is not something that we have skills on. So when we have people who have skills on those and they are willing to share, there is nothing better than partnering with them to be able to achieve the objectives that we set ourselves,” he said. 

Mendy recognised the importance of the partnership while hoping it to be an MoU that Premium Times would never regret.

Meanwhile, Caroline Anipah, Programme Officer, Dubawa (Ghana), Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) first gave the history of her centre, and then the partnership.

“We started the dubawa project in 2018, in 2019 we moved to Ghana, 2020 we are in Sierra Leone and this year we started picturing and looking at working in The Gambia. Coincidentally MAJaC also has the same interests as we have. That is why we decided to partner together. It is not only limited to fact checking but also goes beyond fact checking. Because Fact-checking is just a small component of journalism.

She observed that MAJaC does some similar projects as Premium Times Centre, saying “we thought it is wise to partner” with the academy.

“MAJaC does several things, some of which I learned in what we do at Premium Times. So we thought it wise to partner with them because another important thing we do at PTCIJ is that we have realized that in the media ecosystem we should not be overly competitive,” Caroline said.

Caroline called for collaboration in the media ecosystem rather than competition, because journalists are working for the public interest, saying, “If you’re all working on the same good why not you partner, collaborate to achieve these goals of the public good”.

Meanwhile, Mustapha Ceesay, President of the MAJaC Students’ Union encouraged the students to work hard towards the sustainability of the project. 

Media Academy for Journalism and Communication (MAJaC) was established in 2010 by the Gambia Press Union to strengthen democracy through broad-based and high-quality professional training in media and communication; while Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism(PTCIJ) is a non-governmental organisation, founded in 2014 to promote a truly independent media landscape that advances fundamental human rights, good governance, and accountability in West Africa through investigative journalism, open data and civic technology.  

The MoU was signed on Friday at the Media Academy for Journalism and Communication (MAJaC) campus in Bakau New Town South, graced by staff and students of the academy.

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