The talk in many quarters these days around Gambia is rising concern over some of our private radio contents and therefore it is necessary for those concern to take a relook into their radio content.
It is not strange that most people now are worried about some kind of statements and radio programmes over certain radio stations; fearing that we can get ourselves into the Rwanda situation if something is not done and done now.
It should be the business of every radio proprietor or television owner to put in mechanisms that will produce trained persons and add quality to their work; but it should not be like any Tom Dick and Harry to walk into our radio stations and be called journalists. If say, you are a DJ with limited knowledge of issues please do not go far and practise like a professional journalist or broadcaster.
The content of programmes of some radio stations these days are more of hate speeches with some religious attributions. The owners of the stations should make sure that at least people who work for their various media outlets have basic training in journalism.
In media outlets such as radio satiations there exist several departments but not all those who work in those sectors are journalists; some are not eventhoug they work in a radio satiation. Working in a radio satiation does not make someone a journalist.
Nobody knows it all, but programmes aired over our radios should be moderated by professionals with fair level of knowledge and also should invite people who are experts in their own areas to talk and analyse topics of general discussions for our communities. But if just because one works in a radio satiation is allowed to talk on any issues or try to analyse anything the likelihood is that we will have people pumping out hate speech and other derogatory remarks which are nothing but disservice for the public.
There is a need to have a broadcasters association which could be monitoring some of these programmes being aired over our radios stations and other media outlets for self-regulation all geared towards the interest of peace and tranquillity.
The Gambia does not need any draconian media commission now and therefore to avert such a situation, the media should be able to regulate itself and not give chance for any other party to do so. In 2000 or there about the then government of Yahya Jammeh did set up a media commission whose powers were almost equal to that of a high court judge. The then infamous commission had powers to sentence journalists who might fall foul in the execution of their duties as media workers. That was not found to be an ideal way of dealing with the media regulations so the media fraternity had to challenge the commission and it took time, but at the end the commission never saw the light.
What the Daily News is calling for is for the Ministry of Information to call the attention of radio stations who are in the habit of sending out wrong signals to order by holding a meeting with them and guide them in the interest of peace of this country.
The media, be they radios, televisions or print need control; preferably by themselves but in the event they cannot do that then the government has a duty in the interest of the country to hold them to account.