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Retrogressive Politics, And Bad Content Journalism: What’s the media’s role?



By Sheriff Saidykhan

When the news media whose responsibility is to hold the duty bearers of our country both private and public accountable, and to engage militants from different political divides to meaningfully participate into vital issues of the country; are only manifesting in vein, development trajectory becomes untenable. 

Political detractors from various political camps, are frequently exchanging verbal assaults at the detriment of national interest.

To hark back, freedom of the press has been severely curtailed under Jammeh’s stewardship over the past two decades, striking public, and international backlash from human right agencies in a bid to reverse this negative trend. 

News media has played an instrumental role; during the build up to the 2016 Presidential race, and the new age of democracy.

Thomas Jefferson, former President of America once observed: “If I were to choose between having a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government; I wouldn’t hesitate to choose the latter “.

The vibrancy and significance of news media in the 21st century, has become a paramount importance for citizens to share divergent views towards shaping national issues.

Every writer wanted his/her story to be hawked by newsboys along the streets of Kombo Saint Mary. In addition, the shift in many reportorial styles of news has caused a great alarm to the public; this unending trend has sparked concerns to many news readers over their cherry picking reportorial and broadcast of news in this country.

The advent of online media proliferation, added an impact to cover up-to-speed of societal issues, and report untold stories across the wider spectre of societies. 

News media continues to face a string of criticism, due to some online media houses unwitting broadcasting of less pertinent contents, imbued with ethical bluntness. 

This continuing trend ignited heated debate from the public on bad content journalism. Plus, it poses pervasive effects on ethical professionalism of news media. On the other hand, it begs the quest from news consumers/readers demanding professional media coverage.

It is under the remit of these online content producers, to  revisit their house style of journalism, and draw a partial view to actively equip its producer’s and novice presenters into justice-driven -journalism. 

On the other hand, many great people showed their incredible faith for President Barrow to remain President for life.

In The Gambia, people learn politics when politics becomes important. 

The country’s spread of literacy to the illiterate portion of a literate society is quite becoming more complex. Quarters of the population are poorly educated on politics and Civic education.

The duty of a Journalist is to show objectivity whether on print news, or electronic bulletins. As a basic analytical being; a Journalist must view government policies and society with its critical lenses, and increase its tentacles to analyse current issues with accuracy at all times. 

As Gambians are set to return to the polls in 2021 Presidential elections.  The future destiny of the country would be determined in the upcoming Presidential race to the State House.


Sheriff Saidykhan is a senior journalist and sub-editor at the Monitor Newspaper in The Gambia

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