In today’s Gambia, the line between journalism and sycophancy gets thinner by the day

Mamos Media

Mamudu: In today’s Gambia, the line between journalism and sycophancy gets thinner by the day: Hard to imagine, how the private and public media sinks to even deeper lows recently. I listen and watch many discussions on either TV, radio, or the internet. I have noticed that in the Gambia, our journalists are a bit weak when interviewing specific individuals by letting them go on a rampage of telling lies with a straight face without even questioning them further. This irritates me a lot, such that I turn off the audiovisual or change to something else. The reason why an interviewer would let an interviewee tell lies during an interview could be that he (the interviewer) lacks information on the subject being discussed.
Mamudu: I do not have any favorite media personality except Lamin Cham of Standard and Pa Nderry Mbai of Freedom radio gets my approval as tough interviewers. Most of the media practitioners do not read. They do not know their stuff very well. I always tell my students and peers that: you cannot defeat what you do not understand. Therefore, you cannot deliver an informative interview without doing proper research on your interview. I feel that an interviewer owes the audience an excellent interview by ensuring that their interviewee answers questions from the point of integrity with information, and not out of malice. If all Television or radio interviewers were like Pa Nderry and Lamin Cham, politicians and other people would never go to a media house to go and feed the masses with false information.
Mamudu: Journalists must be professional in ways of handling discussions. Journalist’s interviews must be a trademark, not sound and fury events. Your style is keeping the interviewee at ease, and you cannot describe your interviews as grilling, but friendly discussions aimed at coaxing answers from the interviewee. If you wanted an interview where blood is spilled, the best thing to do would have been to tune in to Stephen Sackur’s BBC ‘Hard Talk’ or, better still, one of those Andrew Neil’s grilling sessions where guests are unceremoniously put on the chopping board to satisfy that morbid urge.
Mamudu: And worst is the newspaper editorials becoming monotonous, silly, and ungrounded as exemplified in a recent lecture on electoral politics and good governance! Whichever team is writing them, need to know that Gambians are much wiser than they were decades ago, and they can identify any amount of propaganda thrown at them? My advice to a particular newspaper editorial team is that please base your editorials on anything except politics because you have lost your political clout and credibility and GRTS’s roles in propaganda are known, yours makes sad reading!

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