By Abubacarr Saidykhan
About two dozen Gambian Journalists gathered at Kairaba Beach hotel on Monday 1st July for a training session organised by the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, TRRC, in collaboration with the International Institute for Democracy rr ! Regards? Electoral Assistance, IDEA. The training session focussed on conflict sensitive reporting.
The two day training focuses on capacity building of journalists working on various forms of media platforms ranging from online media, television stations, radio stations and local print newspapers. The training session is aimed at preparing Journalist to improve their reporting on conflict sensitive stories.rr
Just last week, key TRRC witness and former Armed Forces Provisional Council Junta member, Yankuba Touray was arrested after refusing to testify before the TRRC. This sparked civil unrest outside Kairaba Police station creating an atmosphere of uncertainty for the TRRC. The way the media reports such stories could shape public opinion, impacting positively or negatively on public confidence of the TRRC.
The first module provided an opportunity for journalists to reflect on the role of communication in the TRRC’s work. To this effect lead trainer, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo presented a talk on the challenges in managing information effectively. The discussions continued by outlining recommendations on how to address the challenges. The afternoon session concluded with a review and critique of selected media coverages on the TRRC.
According to the Professor “the training is expected to build understanding by participants on their critical role in the ongoing hearings of the TRRC and support the process by keeping citizens informed, raise public awareness and participation in the process of truth telling and reconciliation. The knowledge sharing and exchange of ideas about the particular situation and context in different region/ countries will enable participants to learn from other experiences”.
The training sessions allowed for participants to present group work and provide comments and answers from the Prof Gadzekpo.