The recent press release coming from the country’s regulatory body, Public Utility Regulatory Agency (PURA), giving allegations against all, as the release did not mention any specific radio station is not fare to journalists and their media institutions.
This has come at a time when some political groupings close to the government express similar utterances. The Gambia cannot go back to where it comes from.
Threatening radio stations with closures, tantamount to intimidation and muzzling of the media, this is not acceptable.
Politicians and their supporters must stop interfering in the way and manner journalists are disseminating news and overages. But that does not mean, they cannot go to the courts for redress. Journalists are not above the laws of the land.
Political thugs are warned that the media fraternity will not allow anybody to intimidate them.
Take your cases to the courts if anyone feels unfairly treated, but do not take the laws into your hands as it used to be before.
Gone are the days when any Tom, Dick and Harry gets up and close radio stations or newspapers. Gone are the days when personals or agents of government who feel the media is not giving positive sides of them, will walk into such legally registered medium and stop their operations, without any court orders.
Gone are the days when such agents will make calls and threaten media houses and practitioners, to do what they like or be closed. The media will no longer be intimidated.
The media (radio) in this country are doing a very good job as they are able to provide Gambians an opportunity of divergent views which the state own radio and television is seen lacking in doing so.
Either is because the state radio and television does not have the capacity or there is political interference, one of the two is responsible. This is the gap being filled by private commercial or in some cases community radios.
If any government agency feels a particular radio station is not going according to the laws binding their operations, let the law take its cause on that particular media institution or institutions.
Regulators are empowered to regulate and nothing must stop them doing that, all what the media is calling for, is that it must be done in accordance with laid down rules and regulations and not with threats.
The media will not allow anybody to intimidate them; the game must be guided by the laws of the land, and not by the rules of the rainforest as before.