The Gambia Press Union President delivered this speech at the inauguration of the Parliamentary Reporters Association of The Gambia (PRAG) on 1st September 2023 at the National Assembly’s Auditorium. The launch took place on the same day that the “Engagement Forum” was launched between Parliament and Civil Society Organisations.
Below is the entire speech.
Parliament is the most important arm of government as far as the masses are concerned because it is an institution that almost entirely consists of representatives of the people.
The media, on the other hand, represents hope for the people to keep their representatives in check. So, if journalists form a group to intensify holding people’s representatives accountable is a commendable step.
Therefore, as the leader of all journalists in the country, it gladdens my heart to deliver the launching statement of the Parliamentary Reporters Association of The Gambia (PRAG).
The association, which comprises over twenty members, is cardinally formed to bring all parliamentary reporters together and encourage more rigorous reporting of issues that matter to the people, especially from the National Assembly.
It will also seek to lobby for training opportunities for its members and foster a better relationship between the media and the National Assembly while ensuring that its members live up to expectations in terms of their reporting responsibilities.
It is important to note that forming this association and fostering a good relationship with the National Assembly does not mean we will negate our responsibilities as journalists or dance to the tune of the Assembly.
We are committed as ever to continue holding the National Assembly and the government accountable to the people of The Gambia at all times and this association will only intensify those efforts.
The association has about 25 members so far and we are expecting more to join in the near future.
The executive currently consists of nine members. The association also has an advisory board that is headed by the President of the Gambia Press Union.
All of these journalists in the association have regularly reported from the Assembly and I am sure our Honourable Members are very much familiar with them. With that in mind, I call on all of you, both journalists and lawmakers, to see each other as partners and not enemies.
Journalists are in parliament to report your activities to your constituents so that they will know what you’re doing. That is how we can collectively develop this country and provide the best services to the people.