The Gambia Press Union with funding from the United Nations Democracy Fund on Monday, 19th August 2019, kicked off a ten-day training on investigative journalism.
The training provides in-depth reporting skills on corruption and financial issues for twenty Gambian journalists.
Speaking at the opening ceremony at the NaNA Conference Hall in Bakau, Lamin Jahateh, GPU Programme Manager, said the training is hands-on, with the participants undergoing extensive exercises which will lay a foundation for specialization.
He said: “The catch phrase from the last training is Gambia is open for business, which means it is open to corruption as well.”
Sheriff Bojang Jr, GPU president, spoke about the need for journalists to take the lead in combating corruption.
“We are at a stage in which the level of accountability and transparency within the government is facing a lot of challenges,” he said, “My advice to you is look at this training as a key step that will propel us to hold our leaders to account. This is not the training that will require you to only say what the officials want you to say.”
Sang Mendy, director of Media Academy for Journalism and Communication, advised the participants to not only grab the opportunity but apply the knowledge as well.
“Training opportunities like this are very rare. If you have the opportunity to sit in a class like this, you should take it seriously,” he said. “Training is to help someone, but the person who is to be trained should be willing to be trained”
In a short statement, the trainer, Tidiane Sy, an international investigative journalist, told the participants: “You are privileged to have a chance to be in this training.”
The twenty participants, drawn from various media houses across the country, each received a brand new laptop and a digital recorder to facilitate their training and the projects they would be doing after the training.