Coalition for Change – The Gambia (CCG), Civil Society Associations Gambia (CSAG), Democratic Union of Gambian Activists (DUGA), and other partners will be launching a new radio program to be broadcast to The Gambia and Senegal beginning Sunday, December 15, 2013.
The weekly program, “The New Gambia,” will be aired on FM 98.8 on Sundays from 9:30 pm to 10:00 pm (GMT). The inaugural program will be moderated by Demba Baldeh of Gainako and will feature Dr. Amadou Scattred Janneh, Banka Manneh, Sigga Jagne, and Pa Samba Jow. Moderation will be alternated to allow participation of other Gambian journalists.
The development comes on the eve of the ninth anniversary of the assassination of journalist Deyda Hydara and in the wake of rallies organized in The Gambia by a united opposition.
The Gambia has one of the worst records in the domain of free expression, and this view is supported by various international monitors. The constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and press; however, the government restricted these rights. According to the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, “the environment for independent and opposition media remained hostile, with numerous obstacles to freedom of expression, including administrative hurdles, arbitrary arrest and detention, intimidation and judicial harassment against journalists, and the closure of media outlets, leading to self-censorship.”
The broadcast project is aimed at increasing awareness amongst the Gambian population and empowering them through access to information. It’s also designed to inform Senegalese listen views about the political climate in the country.
1. Giving Gambians access to alternative sources of information
2. Educating the Senegalese public about the human rights situation in The Gambia
3. Enhancing awareness of and passion for democratic values in the region
4. Fostering regional integration and peace
5. Providing civil society groups with an outlet to disseminate vital information, and
6. Increasing support for the protection and promotion of human rights in the region
The weekly 30-minute radio program will be conducted in English, French and the indigenous languages of the Senegambia region.
It will be moderated by a journalist, with regular participation of civil society members serving as resource persons in their various areas of expertise. Efforts will be made to ensure that participation is inclusive, ensuring that we have male and female voices, young people, representatives of CSOs, faith based organizations, traditional and opinion leaders as well as politicians.