By Mammy Saidykhan
The Gambia Press Union in partnership with Beakanyang and with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is conducting three sets of sensitisation workshops for journalists on hate speech.
The series of workshop will hold from 23rd to 28th September 2021 at Baobab Holiday Resort in Bijilo and from 29th and 30th will hold at the Football Hotel in Yundum, with participants drawn from the Print, Online, Commercial Radio, TV and Community Radio Broadcasters
The sensitisations seek to ensure that journalists understand hate speech and are able to identify hate speech and debunk it in their reports. It is also meant to ensure journalists do not become the vehicle to spread hate speech whether knowingly or unknowingly, and to ensure peaceful democratic processes and advocacy against hate speech and for the prevention of violence.
Speaking at the opening on Thursday, the Vice President of the Gambia Press Union, Muhammed S. Bah, said the media plays a critical role in either promoting peaceful elections or preventing violence.
“As journalists, it’s important that we don’t allow the media be used as a tool to spread hate speech, it is our responsible to tackle issues of hate speech especially in our daily reporting,” he said.
The Executive Director of Beakanyang, Nfamara Jawneh, said that it is a pleasure to be associated to such an important sensitisation program meant to sensitise journalists on hate speech.
He said: “As gatekeepers, when you go back to your media houses, we are to ensure that nobody irrespective of which position they hold or which part of the political divide they are, used us (media) to promote hate speech against our brothers and sisters.”
“As partner in the crusade against hate speech, I wish to assure you of our commitment in ending hate speech not only in the media but in the country as a whole.”
Beakanyang is a human rights and development organisation in The Gambia that works in areas that promotes the advancement of fundamental human rights.