The Gambia Press Union on August 19, 2019, commences a two weeks training on investigative journalism for 20 Gambian journalists at the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) conference hall in Kanifing. The training gathers journalists from different media houses in the country to arm with the requisite investigative skills necessary for media practitioners to carry out investigative stories into eminent corruption cases in the country.
The union conducts this training in partnership with the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF).
In declaring the training opened, the President of the Union Sheriff Bojang Jr. said the Gambia is open for business but as well as for corruption. He stated that, this training could not come at a better time than this citing the recent Gambia Ports Authority scandal of funding for the construction of a police station in Mankamankunda the home village of President Adama Barrow and the BBC corruption scandal involving Halifa Sall the brother of president Macky Sall regarding the oil exploration in Senegal in which president Sall’s brother is accused of corruption.
He stresses that ”investigative journalism is important saying journalists must always endeavor to publish authoritative news stories in fulfilling their contractual agreement with the public. This training will guide you to know the dos and don’ts of investigative journalism” he explains.
He finally implores the trainees to make the best use of the opportunity given to them and apply the new skills gained from the training by investigating potential corruption cases in the future.”
The Director of the Media Academy of Journalism and Communication (MAJAC) Sang Mendy, also said journalists need the skills, knowledge, experience and right attitudes to do their job as expected of them.
“You will be funded if any of you wants to launch an investigative story for free and laptops and digital recorders have already been distributed to you to facilitate the training but also future works. We want to go out there to do national interest stories. He implored participants to seriously take the trainer and lessons learned.
Hamadou Tidiane Sy is the lead trainer, he said those selected are privileged to attend such training and hopes that it serves as a learning period for both of them. Mr. Sy is the director of EJICOM and reporter for the BBC in Dakar and was involved in numerous investigative stories in Africa and around the world including the Panama Papers.
For Mariama Cham and Sheku Suwareh Jabai, both trainees expressed their delight for been selected in the training whiles hoping to gain more experience and skills in this delicate field of investigative journalism. “Investigative journalism is time and resource-consuming but also different from those normal daily routine journalism.” they point out.
The project provided trainees with new laptops and digital recorders with the intention of enhancing access to facilities to enable them to conduct investigative stories easily and freely during and after the training.
By Yero S. Bah- The Gambia