Alagi Yorro Jallow
Mamudu: Our national Talkshow host, public relations consultants, and pundits, also bloggers on social media as well on traditional media serving as proofreaders and opinion writers in the newsroom are not journalists. They are masters of hyperbole, division and sound bites. For them to survive in today’s business of politics, they’ve traded analysis for opinion. Research for regurgitation. And journalism for political propaganda and public relations communications.
Mamudu: Ethical journalism means someone trained in the craft of journalism and dissemination and reporting news as well as public information accurately, thoroughly, and responsibly — but many of these factors are beyond the control of an individual journalist.
Mamudu: It is not the business of journalists to take sides. A real journalist covers everyone equally and fairly: whether they are capitalist or communist, Christian or Muslim, tribalists or nationalists, gay or straight, intelligent, or stupid. It is not the business of journalists to judge individuals, no matter how much you disagree with their doctrine. The company of journalists is to report as accurately as is humanly possible and to take cognizance of the fact that everyone is entitled to their opinion. In the market place of ideas, views must be exchanged freely, to allow individuals to learn from one another, to embrace ideas they are in tandem with, and to discard ideas that are obnoxious to them. This, I believe, is the noble cause of journalism.
Mamudu: Let this be clear. “This is the role of journalists: not to repeat propaganda, thereby assisting the propagandists and becoming part of the machinery of publicity or propaganda, but to maintain a STANDARD of making sure, as much as is possible, that a media platform is being used to give FACTS to the public. Once the public has the FACTS, it is up to those in society to make up THEIR MINDS. Real journalist plays the critical role of gatekeeper, and in doing so, is acting on behalf of the public good. (A.Y Jallow,2013)”.
Mamudu: And again, the role of Journalists right now needed in the new Gambia, the idea, its value, is to thoroughly expose incompetence and malfeasance that isn’t partisan unless you believe one party is so incapable and corrupt that it can’t survive public scrutiny. The idea of objective methods of determining the truth isn’t threatening unless you don’t think the ideas that are most convenient to you can stand up to rigorous testing. And context and analyses are only your enemies if you depend on an ignorant audience for your assertions.
Alagi Yorro Jallow