Ebrima Sillah, the Director General of the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) whose institution also funded the dinner lamented that for the past 15 to 16 years some of those in the gathering were forced into exile and declared stateless by the past regime.He cited the unity and bond shared within the journalist’s community in fighting for freedom and the rights of all Gambians.
Bai Emil Touray, President of the Gambia Press Union also thanked the Minister and the new Government of The Gambia over the improved relations between journalists and the state in comparison to the previous repressive regime.
Delivering the vote of thanks, Peter Gomez, Founder of the West Coast Radio encouraged journalists to maintain cordial relations with Government officials but to always remain critical in their reporting.
Demba Ali Jawo, the minister of Information & Communications Infrastructure thanked both the media in the country and Diaspora for the role they played in bringing about change and in continuing to inform the Gambian public. He acknowledged the presence of veteran journalists, his predecessor Sheriff Bojang, Managing Editor of The Standard Newspaper and former minister of Information, Demba Baldeh, editor-in-chief of Gainako Online newspaper. He reiterated that his open door policy towards the media will remain and that his team will always be willing to maintain cordial relations with journalists.
Minister Jawo also told the gathering that the actions of the Ministry are in line with their concerns on Media Reforms and that at every step of the way, the stakeholders including journalists will be consulted.
The event ended with a delicious buffet dinner.