Since inception, this body of dedicated and committed young media practitioners, some of whom infact hold key positions in their various newsrooms, has implemented series of significant programmes geared towards creating a better working environment for its members in particular and enhancing Gambian journalism, in general.
Notable, among its many accomplishments has been the training of its members and even non-members on journalism related subjects ranging from environment to laws governing media work in The Gambia.
Of course, YJAG’s commitment and efforts in building the capacity of young Gambian journalists is an indication that the leadership and by extension the membership of YJAG never lose sight of the crucial need of horning the skills and broadening the knowledge of young Gambian media practitioners, most of whom enter into the profession without undergoing any form of formal journalism training or alternative training of any sort.
As vividly recollected during the organisation’s congress on Saturday, apart from capacity building, YJAG has engaged media managers during which they highlighted the plight of young journalists.
The Association also supported Gambia College Press Club (GCPC) to hold a day long training session on “Basic Journalism” for its members and it has broken ‘provincial boundaries’ by embarking a tour of the provinces where they held series of meetings with Community Radio Stations and Senior Secondary Schools.
Cognisant of the need to collaborate and to have the backing of Gambia government in its endeavours and more importantly to contribute their quota to smoothening out the rough edges between government and media, YJAG executive made a bold move by paying a courtesy call to the vice president of The Gambia and also visited the Minister of Interior.
As each of these initiatives has their common and peculiar significance, especially in bettering the media environment for themselves and others, YJAG should therefore be not only be commended, but also be encouraged and supported by all relevant stakeholders.
And while all these accomplishments are respectively remarkable, the democratic culture developed and jealously pursued by YJAG leadership no doubt towers above all the earlier mentioned undertakings.
Its founder president was voted out under a climate of tolerance. Though there were some controversies here and there, this was soon sorted out amiably and he continued to be consulted on issues that affect the life of the association.
Last Saturday witnessed another wonderful display of democracy, a sense of purpose and maturity by YJAG leadership as the outgoing president stood down after serving only a single term and handed the mantle over to a new executive without any hullabaloo.
The Daily News is therefore imploring on other media organisations to emulate the YJAG example and put their houses in order. Journalists should not lag behind in the exercise of democracy and transparency. We should practice what we preach.
YJAG no doubt deserves kudos for its maturity and sense of purpose. We wish the new executive all the best and hope they will consolidate the gains made over the years by their predecessors.
Good Luck to the new president of the association Modou Joof and team. Congratulation also goes to Nfamara Jawneh and Assan Sallah both ex-presidents of YJAG and their teams for a job well done.
Long Live The Gambia, Long Live The Press Long Live Africa!