‘Journalism A Key Tool for Consolidating Democracy’

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Dr. Ruby E. M. Randall, Resident Representative, the International Monetary Fund - The Gambia

Officials Implore West African economic journalists

By Joaquin M. Sendolo in Banjul, The Gambia
Although other Social Science courses that teach Politics are available for learning, two top officials including Ruby E. M. Randall, Resident Representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Mambury Njie, Minister of Finance of The Gambia have both described the Journalism profession as an indispensable tool for consolidating modern democracy and transforming society.
The two made the cohesive statement  on February 20, 2019 in Banjul at the opening of a three-day seminar organized by the IMF for journalists of Anglophone countries of West Africa.
Dr. Randall, who gave the opening statement and welcomed the journalists, emphasized that the media’s role in driving the development agenda of any nation cannot be overemphasized and that, because the IMF is aware of this, it attaches serious importance to developing the capacity of journalists, specifically those reporting financial issues to report with fairness and objectivity.
She identified three roles she said are cardinal responsibilities of a journalist, namely: gatekeeper, score keeper, and watchdog.
“The task is peculiar that it must not be taken lightly, and this is why we have called you together here in Banjul and invited our knowledgeable partners from the Thompson Reuters Foundation to share with you their experience,” she added.
She indicated that reporting financial issues is not only about budget or following money, but reporting about those activities that aid the generation of the money.
Minister Mambury Njie on the other hand said, “Journalism has a very pivotal role to play in our modern society beyond its traditional role of news dissemination,” adding, “I must state without any fear of contradiction that, if our aim as leaders and policy makers is to transform our societies, then Journalism is a key tool to achieve this.”
He described economic and financial reporters as “effective liaisons between economists and financial experts and policy makers,” who he noted make economic policy decisions that affect the economic welfare of the people of their country.
Mambury Njie, Minister of Finance, The Gambia
In order for the ordinary people to understand the technicalities and jargons associated with economic and financial decisions, Minister Njie said, it is the responsibility of the journalists to do, which makes them important people in the development of society and democratic governance.
“But this is an enormous responsibility. So, in recognizing the importance of your role, it is imperative that we further equip you for the job, and impart the skills and knowledge needed to get the job done well,” Minister Njie said.
He said this step coincides with the responsibility the policy makers, him included, have to provide journalists with knowledge and skills that are needed to be translated into everyday parlance for the common man.
He further added, “If we want citizens to adhere to and support the policies that we as policy makers are formulating, then we must make sure that those policies are well articulated and explained to the citizens using simple terms that are easily understood by the public at large,” Minister Njie added.
He said this trend taken by the IMF is a way of collaborating with the Gambian Government to further capacitate the skills of Economic and Financial journalists in a meaningful and impactful way.
Participants for the seminar were drawn from The Gambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Liberia. They comprise mainly broadcast and print journalists with experience in reporting economic and financial matters.

4 COMMENTS

  1. you are so right to speak on these topics and bring them to stand. some of them feel that been journalist or talk show host means you are to insults and create divisive situation within the country. some of the so-call Journalist or join the list has no professional skills.. I am so damn shame for these people.. Liberia is one good example… imagine someone who did not obtained (D) certificate in Journalism, woke up one morning and started hosting radio talk show and claiming him/her self to be a Journalist.. 90% of this scenario is within Liberia.. 10% of 100% Journalists in Liberia are Good and the rest 90% are Bull-shitters..

  2. Journalism is indispensable to democracy as policing to public safety, but both respectively need individuals striving for credibility and integrity. Interestingly, whereas law enforcement officials acknowledge performance ought to be improved, some journalists believe reforms will deminish the celebrity status: Hubris.

    • Journalism, like any other human preoccupation Mr. Baghdad Moses, just happens to be a by-product of the environment in which they are nurtured or fostered. Reason why some of us continue to advocate for the democratic environment that enhances the individual’s capacity and afford her/him the opportunity for self-fulfillment. Calling out and denouncing at the highest social decibel possible, any provincial and tribalistic tendencies to the contrary. Reason why self-seeking rascals like you will always suffer the wrath of well-meaning others in that pursuit. As simple as that.

  3. Alias “Hilary Snyder”

    That name is under the Facebook profile of an American woman while a Liberian called Hilary L. Stryker currently lives in Maryland.

    Not surprisingly, the use of an alias in existential conversations speaks volumes of cowardice and deceit, traits typical of your forbears and had caused untold sufferings for generations of Liberians. You must be really desperate and depraved to abandon your father’s name just to talk trash; come out of the cocoon of anonymity and meet me mano-a-mano, I challenge you.

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