By Landing Ceesay
The Media Academy for Journalism and Communication (MAJaC) has graduated 21 young journalists who completed its five-week intensive ethical journalism training.
The training is meant to equip the young journalists with various ethics of journalism in making ethical decisions during their reporting at their various news outlets.
Mr. Sang Mendy, Managing Director of MAJaC said the capacity building to enhance ethical and responsible journalism programmes is designed to produce trustworthy and responsible journalists who would tackle ethical dilemmas that come before them in the interest of society.
“I am aware that there would be impeding factors that may serve as a challenge or deterrence for you to practice what you have been taught (ethical Journalism). Whatever it is, as people who have gone through a five-week intensive training, we expect nothing but to be ethical and guide people, your colleagues in the newsroom to be as ethical as possible.
“As a manager, I have had the most positive reviews about a course offered at the academy. I was told the attendance was about 90 to 100% or 99 to 100%. Whatever is responsible for that I don’t know. Is it about the allowances you are given, or the concern that the media is losing its trust? I am convinced that one of the reasons why you were punctual and regular is because you care about your credibility and the credibility of the media,” he said.
Mr. Mendy stated that it is important to note that ethical journalism is becoming more important today than ever.
“During the five-week training, you went through modules and I am convinced you are prepared and emboldened to handle any ethical issue that comes your way,” he said.
Muhammad S. Bah, President, Gambia Press Union (GPU) congratulated the journalist s on their ‘commitment and steadfastness.’
He said after going through the rigorous ethical training, the trained journalists can comfortably be referred to “ambassadors of ethics”.
“But not just the normal culture, it has to appear in your work. We have seen how the media is unethical; which by extension is causing public mistrust and distrust, especially with the emergence of online media in this country. So engage and share your experience with your colleagues and ensure that ethics is not compromised,” he said.
Meanwhile, Judy Order, country representative, Freedom House said the 21 journalists are such of many who would benefit from ethical training and that it is now their responsibility to practice what they have learned.
“The ball is in your court; responsible journalism requires you to put reality first. Journalists who are responsible do not carry favour with advertisers or publishers’ business interests,” she said.
The graduation took place at NaNa earlier Monday.