Friday, January 29, 2010

YJAG visits The Point, Digest office

NEWS BANJUL, THE GAMBIA (MB)-Friday, 22 January 2010,as part of its tour of media institutions in the country, the executive members of the Young Journalists? Association of The Gambia (YJAG) on Thursday paid a courtesy call on Pap Saine, the managing director/publisher of The Point Newspaper and Moshood Abdou Salam Sesay, the managing director of Digest Publications, to discuss with them in their capacity as media chiefs, the welfare of the young reporters in their various media houses.

Speaking at both functions, Assan Sallah, the president of YJAG, said the reason for the courtesy call is to discuss with the heads of the media institutions in the country about the welfare of the young journalists in their various media houses. Sallah used the platform to call on the media chiefs to provide in-house trainings for the young reporters, increase their salaries and organised them in a better way, so as to enable them deliver in their newsrooms as expected.

He said the tour of media institutions is not a familiarisation tour, but rather a platform for discussion with the media chiefs about the welfare of their reporters. He also informed the media chiefs that YJAG has plans to come up with a series of training programmes for its members as part of its 2010 Action Plan and called on the media heads to support them to realise their objectives.

Sallah finally thanked Pap Saine and Moshood Abdou Salam Sesay for their support to YJAG and the young reporters in general. Speaking earlier, Mamadou Edrissa Njie, YJAG?s 2nd vice president, gave a historical background of the Association. He said YJAG was established on September 16th, 2007 with the objective of promoting unity among all young journalists in the country, to provide training in the form of capacity building and to address the welfare of young journalists, among others.

The Association, he added, is also tasked with responsibility to facilitate the recruitment of young journalists into the media profession and build capacities for its members.
In response, Pap Saine, the managing director/publisher of The Point Newspaper, expressed delight at receiving the young journalists in his office and promised to continue giving them advice and support at all times. He revealed that The Point Newspaper is paying more than the Gambia Press Union (GPU) recommendation for newspapers on the payment of stories for freelance reporters. He further revealed that his company has allocated some other incentives for his reporters such as medical bills, training both at local and international level, among others.

According to The Point boss, he has plans to start an in-house training for his reporters and he has already given some of his freelancers a three-month probation, during which if they excel, they will be promoted to the position of a staff reporter. He advised the young journalists to search for news and report objectively on them. He however spoke of some of the constraints faced by media chiefs in printing their papers, as well as the late payment of some adverts, which he said, makes their work difficult sometimes. ?Journalists should respect divergent views and should report objectively,? The Point boss emphasised. ?I will never exploit the labour of my staff and freelancers,? he remarked.

He finally advised YJAG to meet the authorities and discuss with them.
For his part, Moshood Abdou Salam Ceesay, the managing director of Digest Publications, commended YJAG for the move, describing it as a move in the right direction. He challenged the reporters to come up with interesting stories and finally promised to look into the issue of salary increment for his staff. Modou Baldeh, a co-opted executive of YJAG delivered the vote of thanks.

Author: by Fatou Sowe, Daily Observer

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