The Gambia Press Union, with support from United Nations Development Programme, held three sets of trainings with journalists from the Print, Online, Commercial Radio, TV and Community Radio Broadcasters on Post COVID-19 to promote peace and positive messaging.
The trainings, held from 25th to 28th August 2021 at Baobab Holiday Resort in Bijilo and from 30th and 31st at the Football Hotel in Yundum, seeks to ensure that journalists understand the importance of post-COVID 19 positive messaging and how they should be implemented in their daily reporting.
Speaking at the opening, the Vice President of the Gambia Press Union, Muhammed S. Bah said journalists plays a significant role in raising awareness of the public on Convid-19.
“As journalists, it is important that you are trained on how to counter misconceptions on Convid and how to remove those misconceptions by reporting what is right, accurate and clear,” he said.
Mr Bah added that it is important for the media to be fully equipped to be able to spread the right information about COVID 19 to the public and to be able to tackle misinformation.
Omar Bah, Program Officer, National Youth Council, said the project is meant to enable young women and men as stakeholders to advocate for the prevention of violence and hate speech.
This will strengthen youth capacity for engagement and participation in governance, leadership and address hate speech and counter fake news.
“As journalist, you are trusted and have a very important role to play as we approach the December 4 presidential election,” he said. “There are a lot of misinformation on social media.”
The Director of Health Promotion, Modou Njai, urged journalists and Gambians alike to take the COVID-19vaccine to protect themselves and others from contracting the virus.
He said: “The journalists have a role to play, you as journalists have to be a brighter example. You should always be on masks at all times and you should ensure that you are vaccinated together with your families.
“You are helping us to spread the message, you are helping us to inform the people, you are helping us to communicate with the people in the language they understand - for them to be able to protect themselves against the COVID-19 and for them to maintain peace in the COVID-19 situation.”