The Gambia Press Union (GPU) on May 11, 2022 held a two-day training of media managers on newsroom management and leadership.
The training is aimed at building the capacity of the participants to facilitate the efficient and effective management and leadership in Gambian media newsrooms.
It is part of a three-year project “Trade union and advocate – for members, media and democracy” that is being implemented by the GPU and its partner the Gambia Media Support (GAMES) with funding from the Civil Society in Development (CISU).
The overall objectives of this project are to sustain The Gambia’s fragile democracy; transform the GPU into a policy-driven organization that is effective, transparent, sustainable and accountable; to establish structures for editorial responsibility in media houses; and enhance advocacy for press freedom and freedom of expression.
Wednesday’s training, held at the Senegambia hotel, brought together twenty (20) media managers from across the print, online, radio and TV media outlets, who were trained by experienced and knowledgeable resource persons.
The modules covered in the training included newsroom management for effective news generation which discussed how media houses could manage their newsroom resources (staff and budget) to ensure consistent and quality news production. It also included stress and workload management which involved discussions around workload pressures, staff health and safety.
The training also included topics on staff appraisal on how staff could be assessed, recognized and rewarded for their hard work in order to promote productivity and healthy competition.
The sessions concluded with a discussion on diversity management, detailing how media managers could be more diverse in terms of gender, ethnicity and physical ability.
“The Gambian media has expanded exponentially in the past few years, but media managers struggle when it comes to newsroom management and ensuring that there is effective and efficient leadership in newsrooms,” Modou S. Joof, the Secretary General of the GPU, said. “As such, the GPU deemed it necessary to develop training activities that would bridge this capacity gap.”
Participants in the training included Bekai Njie, the Editor-In-Chief of The Point newspaper, who said the interactive nature of the sessions allowed for a diverse discussion on how various media houses are running their newsrooms on a daily basis.
“We have learned valuable lessons from the resource persons, and I found the lessons on diversity management in media houses to be the most interesting session,” he said.
This session discussed the need to diversify the media across all positions (both managerial and staff positions) to include members from different gender, ethnic, and physical ability groups.
At the end of the training, media managers made commitments to include diversity considerations in their hiring processes.