Alagi Yorro Jallow
Fatoumatta: Deyda Hydara epitomized the traditional values of journalism —accuracy, courage, independence, and integrity — that we seek to imbue in our Journalists. By honoring the Deyda Hydara legacy, we hope to instill in our Journalists the moral and ethical framework they will need to help them navigate a new digital era.
When Deyda and his executive members were supporting the idea of moving the Gambia Press Union from Banjul City Council conference chambers to its first offices at Fajara, he had one principle and one condition in mind. It needed to remain a professional journalism union, and ‘journalism’ needed to remain in training ethics and functional English to budding journalists.
Deyda’s vision directly affected the Gambia Press Union. In fact, mandatory training for journalists is: ‘Ethics, Principles and History of Journalism.’ This training explains and stresses the importance of the “Deyda Values of Journalism,” including objectivity, fairness, an obligation to the truth, and loyalty to citizens.
What is next?
Fatoumatta: For a Press Union that has accomplished so much so rapidly, it can be difficult to imagine what the future holds for an institution like the Gambia Press Union. The question “What is next?” has so many possible answers. First, however, the Gambia Press Union journalism training center must deliver a solution. The best is yet to come.
The journalism profession has taken a beating in all political seasons. Furthermore, for good reasons, journalism suffers in the pursuit of ratings and clicks. Gambian journalism is also not at its best today. Journalists should abide by a canon of ethics expected of the industry and ought to be more widely read. Journalists’ voices can help maintain a modicum of a fledgling democracy.
In addition to the usual standards like truth, accuracy, fairness, and impartiality – reporters need to be creative. Journalists serve the public good better, sounding more like professionals. Journalists should have the latitude to do gymnastics in the English language. Readers & audiences deserve to enjoy a specific burst of skills, writings, analytical & creativity. All in the pursuit of getting the story, which is one of the things Gambians do not perform at best.
Fatoumatta: Throughout its success, the Gambia Press Union should continue to keep both Dixon Colley, Swaebou Conateh, and Deyda’s vision relevant by teaching and training Journalists the importance of the fundamentals as well as giving journalists opportunities to witness and create the future of journalism, all while keeping that one question in the back of their mind: What would Dyad Hydara do?
Alagi Yorro Jallow