By Mama A. Touray
The President of The Gambia Press Union (GPU), Muhammed S Bah on Saturday during the union’s annual general meeting highlighted the significance of the meeting to members.
Speaking to the members at the first-ever AGM held at Metzy Residence Hotel, Muhammed MS Bah said the meeting is very important because it allows members of the GPU to hold its leadership into account, hear from its leadership, what they are doing, how they administer funds on their behalf and how they are championing press freedom, safety and welfare of journalists and other relevant things.”
He added that the platform further creates an avenue for members to move motions for constitutional change and other relevant things to the union and the media at large.
The Gambia Press Union annual general meeting came as a provision of the constitution to hold an annual general meeting to avail members the opportunity to know its annual activity reports and further avail the opportunity to know the steps taken by the union in addressing their welfare.
President Bah, however, urged media practitioners to be ethical in their work and not allow politicians to use them to spew hate speech and caused crime.
Sam Sarr, Editor of Foroyaa newspaper in his solidarity message said the union has taken Gambian journalism to another level, and that as far as their time at the GPU was concerned he can remember there has never been this annual general meeting, as they rely on Congress.
He added that “The media is now open as in the past it was difficult for people to take this profession but many of you do it and this is quite encouraging. Many of you are now speaking your mind which is good but that is not enough, there is wisdom, and you have to think of what you say so that what you say is sensible.”
“What is important is to be professional, training is being provided and many of you are taking advantage of this but we do tend to some of you just to vent out what you want to say without giving it a thought, and thinking of ethics and professionalism that is significant strive to be professional and do a better job,” he said
Demba Ali Jawo, former Gambia Press Union president also in his solidarity message said that during his time they tried to have fourth night meetings, he also added that there is a difference between their time when he was the president of the union to the current leadership.
Meanwhile, Hon Madi Ceesay former president of the union, who is now a member of the National Assembly for Serekunda West said it is everywhere in the world that the government provides subventions for the media and called on the current leadership of the Gambia press union to engage the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Information for the government of the Gambia to include the media in their budget.