Friday, January 27

Center for Media and Civic Awareness launched

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By Mama A. Touray

Center for Media and Civic Awareness (CMCA) was Friday launched at the University of The Gambia School of Journalism in Kanifing.

Speaking at the event Famara Fofana, Executive Officer of CMCA said “The Centre for Media and Civic Awareness (CMCA) is a newly created independent, non-partisan, and not-for-profit entity that seeks to ensure a truly professional, independent, innovative, and economically viable media while promoting the advancement of fundamental human rights, rule of law, good governance and accountability.”

He noted that CMCA is self-mandated to build the capacity of citizens, particularly young men and women on Media and Information Literacy (MIL) to counter hate and dangerous speech through policy advocacy and sensitization on tolerance, respect for diversity, and tackling prejudice in the media and society.

CMCA, he added, is further mandated to work with the news media to improve editorial quality, professionalism, freedom, and tolerance whilst enhancing economic sustainability, and Strengthening the media and citizen journalists to make the best use of the digital revolution.

“We will also be looking for partnerships to develop a working and viable business and revenue generation model for the media. This is especially crucial because we cannot talk about media independence when media houses are barely operational due to poor revenue generation capacity.

“Besides, we will also be rolling out fellowships and coaching programs for journalists in different thematic areas, especially on investigative journalism. In this area we are hoping to tap from expertise and networks of renowned organizations like the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ),” he said.

He stated that they will be reaching out and building a collaborative relationship with entities like the Gambia Press Union and other like-minded organizations for the development of the media. While adding that through collaboration they can make the media perform its rightful roles in society.

According to him, Civic Awareness was founded in July 2022 and is an organization with adequate professional capacity and competence in the media, law, and communications. It further seeks to consolidate and enrich engagements around rights to information, freedom, and sustainability of the news media as well as citizens’ civic empowerment.