By Almamo Kamaso
The Gambia government put aside D15 Million for the media as its quota to help them continue their productive reportage on the COVID-19. This said amount was approved by members of the National Assembly yesterday as they give their blessing to Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 presented by Finance Minister Mambury Njie.
Taking part in the debate; Hon Madi M.C Ceesay member for Serekunda West and a journalist himself called on the government of the day to consider putting something for journalists as they too are front liners in the fight against COVID-19.
Ceesay argued as a way of convincing his colleagues and government to put aside up D50Million for the media fraternity; as the initial Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 did not have anything for the media.
He cited countries like Senegal and Guinea Bissau all of who have put aside huge amounts of money for their media; whiles the Gambia has not catered for her journalists in the fight against COVID-19.
Hon Ceesay told members that there are more than 33, radio stations, and up to 5 television stations, with a good number of newspapers all of who are featuring messages of COVID-19 on a daily basis. He urge members to consider putting something for our media and concluded that the 2020 SAP will only be fair to the media fraternity if the media is considered.
“If all the discussion made here were not reported by journalists, who else will know about such deliberations apart from ourselves” Hon Ceesay. “The role media is very key and I hope this SAP will have something for them” Ceesay said.
At the Committee of the whole House finally approved D15 Million, and it stand party of the Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 under the Ministry of Information, Communication and Infrastructure for the benefit of media.