Alhagie Babou Jallow & Samba Jawo, observer.gm
The United States Ambassador to The Gambia, Patricia Alsup, has stated that the University of The Gambia’s School of Journalism presents an excellent opportunity for media practicioners to hone their skills in a way that would promote professionalism and set high standards in reporting.
Ambassador Alsup was speaking to Gambia journalists on Tuesday at the American Corner along Kairaba Avenue as part of events marking the 2016 World Press Freedom Day.
“We commend the authorities for creating this critical institution for the training and professional development of Gambian journalists,” she stated.
Indicating the Embassy’s readiness to support the development of the School, Ambassador Alsup said they would continue to partner with local organisations to train journalists and as well promote dialogue using the media.
She announced that this summer, the US Embassy will bring a Fulbright Scholar from the United States who will work closely with the School of Journalism and Digital Media of the UTG to help in curricular enhancement and other activities.
She added that during the visit, the distinguished professor would hold important journalism and media communication training sessions for students, practicing journalists and government officials responsible for the press.
She recalled that last year the Embassy’s Public Diplomacy section partnered with Media Agenda on a training for 50 community radio station managers and broadcasters. This partnership, she said, would be expanded this year.
The US Ambassador stated further that the goal of the training is to expand community access to broadcast news and train broadcasters to be better journalists.
Commenting on the US Embassy’s sponsored Civic Education Project, Madam Alsup stated: “We are also looking forward to expanding our partnership with the National Youth Parliament. Their radio programmes feature weekly radio call-in shows encouraging dialogue between communities and their representatives in government.”
Very recently, she noted, the Embassy hosted an online election reporting seminar for Gambian journalists in an attempt to prepare them ahead of the December poll. She affirmed that in the build-up to the election, plans for a series of training opportunities for journalists especially on election coverage and reporting are at an advanced stage.
Dilating on the World Press Freedom Day, the Ambassador noted that it is observed globally on May 3, to honour journalists around the world who defend democratic ideals through their commitment to discovering and telling the truth.
She concluded by paying tribute to journalists for their good works.