The outgoing Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Aboubacarr Tambadou, has urged media practitioners to be responsible in carrying out their duty to inform.
“[I]t is refreshing to see a vibrant media and an active press corps in the country nowadays, and I in particular wish to take this opportunity to say well done,” Tambadou said in a farewell address delivered during a press conference held at the Justice Ministry grounds in Banjul.
The 2016 elections ended two-devade long ‘rule of fear’ that has left the country’s media
anesthetized, unable to fulfill its primary responsibility to hold government accountable. A situation that prompted a good number of journalists to flee the country for fear of persecution. The new regime then opened the freedom of the press floodgates to create a conducive environment for journalists.
Tambadou echoed government’s concerns that media could be used by some forces to spread misinformation and destabilize the country.
Former Justice Minister reminded journalists that the stability of the country lies in their hands. He then added: “Be responsible about it.”
Over these past three years, Gambians have witnessed a media boom that continues to ramp up efforts to turn the country into an open society.
Tambadou warned the media against misinformation, describing it as the “biggest threat to our peace and fledgling democracy.”
“I implore the media to be mindful of your critical role in a fragile democracy such as ours,” he said. “Do not turn your supporters in government against you by your actions. Do not, under the guise of freedom of expression, ruin the lives and reputations of others simply because you can.”
Weighing in on the ‘devastating’ impact of misinformation in a tiny country like The Gambia, Aboubacarr Tambadou clearly stated that those put in the media limelight have families, kids and spouses.
While encouraging journalists to expose corruption and corrupt practices in government, he called on the media to desist from being manipulated by people with a ‘partisan political or narrow personal agenda’ to smear others.
Written by Abdoulie John
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