Thursday, December 10, 2009

Constitution of The Gambia Press Union

Cognisant of the rapid changes and transformation taking place in our society, socially, politically and Economically.
Aware of the pivotal role that the media is expected to play in such a process,
It has been deemed necessary to revise the constitution of the Gambia Press Union in order to reflect those Important changes.

The name shall remain the GAMBIA PRESS UNION, henceforth referred to as the UNION .

The Union shall:
Be purely a professional and non-political organisation concerned with matters affecting journalism and all aspects of the mass media, although not unconcerned with the political and socio-economic needs and aspirations of the society in general.
Defend the freedom of the press and professional independence in journalism.
Promote unity and understanding amongst journalists and other media workers through collective bargaining and the provision of welfare schemes.
Safeguard the freedom of the press and protect the rights, liberties and welfare of journalists and other media workers.
Develop the prestige and enhance the social role of journalists and other media workers, as well as endeavour at all times to maintain the standards of the profession.
Uphold the freedom of the collection and dissemination of information, the right to opinion and fair comment.
Forge closer collaboration with other journalist orgnisations and media institutions both in The Gambia and abroad.
Encourage budding journalists and others interested in the profession.
Seek training facilities and opportunities for members, both locally and abroad, as well as seek to enhance the professional competence of members through various other means necessary.
Promote solidarity amongst journalists and others in the profession.

(a) Membership of the Union shall be open to all practicing journalists and other media workers in The Gambia.
(b) There shall exist the following category of membership:
(i) Full
(ii) Associate
(iii) Affiliate
(a) Full membership shall be extended to full time Gambian Journalists and other media workers, both in The Gambia and abroad.
(b) Associate membership shall he extended to others concerned with the
mass media; including Gambia-based foreign journalists, public relations officers and students of Journalism.
(c) Affiliate membership shall be extended to Gambia-based organizations
and other bodies connected with the mass media; and they shall have only one vote.

(a) The organs of the Union shall comprise the general membership and the Executive Committee, as well as any other ad hoc body that may be created.
(b) Both the general membership and the Executive Committee shall have powers to establish ad hoc committees and to co-opt outsiders on an advisory capacity as and when necessary.

(a) The general membership shall comprise members of the categories and ranks. It shall be the highest decision making body of the Union .

(a) The Executive Committee shall comprise the following:
(i) President
(ii) Two Vice Presidents
(iii) Secretary General
(iv) Two Assistant Secretaries
(v) Treasurer
(vi) Two co-opted members (one of whom must be a female)
(b) The Executive Committee shall be elected from fully paid up members during the triennial congress, and unless elected members leave their posts under any circumstances, they shall hold office for three years
(c) The Executive Committee shall be the main organ for implementing Union plans and decisions and its members shall in their respective capacities be individually and collectively responsible to the general membership for carrying out the running of the Union .
(d) All former Chairpersons/ Presidents of the Union as well as proprietors of media houses who are members of the Union shall be co-opted as advisers of the Executive Committee.

(a) The President and in his/her absence the first and second Vice Presidents respectively shall Chair all meetings and other functions of the Union, In their absence, the function shall Be performed by such person that members may determine.
(i) The President shall not serve more than two three-year terms.
(b) The Secretary General, and in his/her absence, any of the two assistant secretaries shall be responsible for recording minutes of meetings as well as responsible for general correspondence of the Union .
(c) The Treasurer shall be the custodian of the Union ’s accounts and all monies due shall be payable to him/her. He/she shall be required to submit an annual statement of account to the Annual General Meeting as well as lay the audited accounts before the Triennial Congress for scrutiny.
d) There shall be an Administrator of the Secretariat who shall be an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee. He/she shall be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Secretariat under the direct supervision of the President and he/she shall be held accountable for all the assets and properties of the Union .
He/she shall submit a monthly report on the status of the Secretariat at every general meeting.
(e) No proprietor or part owner of a media house or organ of news shall be eligible for election to any position in the Executive Committee.

(a) There shall be an Annual General Meeting of the Union at the beginning of each calendar year and an ordinary general meeting on the first Saturday of each month.
(b) The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the convening of both the Annual General Meetings and the monthly meetings, as well as all other meetings of the Union .
(c) The Executive Committee shall also meet as and when necessary. It shall also convene an extra-ordinary general meeting as and when necessary, or at the request of not less than a simple majority of the general membership.
(d) The Annual General Meeting shall receive and examine reports by the President and the Secretary General on the activities of the Union during the year under review, while the Treasurer shall present a statement of account. The AGM would also consider and adopt an annual action plan prepared by the Executive Committee, as well as consider and adopt resolutions and decide on any amendments to the Constitution.
(e) The AGM shall also consider and adopt the subsequent year’s budget prepared by the Treasurer in consultation with the Executive Committee.

(a) One third of the general membership shall form a quorum in any properly constituted general meeting of the Union, and all decisions taken in such a meeting shall be binding on the Union.

(a) All decisions of the Union shall be taken by consensus or by a simple majority of the members in attendance in a properly constituted meeting. Voting on any issue shall be by show of hand and the President shall have a casting vote, which shall be used only in the event of a tie.

(a) The Union shall derive its funds from either or all of the following sources:
(i) Membership subscriptions
(ii) Donations and contributions
(iii) Sale of publications
(iv) And through other fund raising activities sanctioned by the general membership.
(b) All individual members of all categories shall pay a membership registration fee on admission as well as monthly subscription fees as determined from time to time by the general membership.
(c) Affiliate member organisations shall pay membership registration fees upon admission and annual subscription fees due and payable at the beginning of each calendar year.
(d) All monies collected by the Treasurer shall be payable into the Union ’s bank account, unless otherwise determined by the general membership.
(e) The President, Treasurer and one member of the advisory body shall be the signatories to the Union ’s bank account.
(f) No money shall be withdrawn from the account unless it shall be authorized by the general membership, except in cases of emergency when the President or in his/her absence, the First Vice President can authorize such withdrawals and thereafter refer the matter to the general membership for consideration and endorsement.

(a) Any member who is accused of gross professional misconduct or financial misappropriation involving Union funds shall have his/her membership suspended by a simple majority of members in attendance in a properly constituted general meeting. The matter shall then be referred to a special disciplinary committee selected for the purpose, which shall consider the matter and recommend any further action to be taken against such a member.
(b) Constant failure by a member to pay his/her dues as well as abide by the Union ’s Constitutional provisions shall be deemed to be lack of interest and may result in withdrawal of membership without notice.
(c) Any member subjected to disciplinary measures shall reserve the right to petition the Executive Committee for a review who shall be obliged to table the matter in a subsequent general meeting for consideration.

(a) The whole or any part of this Constitution shall be subject to amendment by a simple majority of members in attendance in any properly constituted AGM.
(b) All proposals for amendment of the Constitution shall be done in writing by fully paid up members and forwarded to the Secretary General at least one week prior to the AGM.

In the event that the Union is to be dissolved, all its assets and properties shall be given to a media organization in this country with similar aims and objectives.


Gambia Press Union
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