By Landing Ceesay
The Gambia Press Union (GPU) started a two-day training for Gambian journalists on safety and security during elections.
The training is meant to equip journalists with the skills required to report in the elections safely.
Buba Fatty, Accountant of the GPU said it is part of GPU’s efforts to ensure the safety of journalists during elections, saying the GPU has now established a safety hotline for monitoring attacks on media during the electioneering process.
“With the hotline, the GPU seeks to engage in real-time monitoring and documentation of attacks on the media and journalists. After the election, the GPU will publish a report of the violations and use it as evidence to campaign and advocate for adjustments on law and practice. And if the pre-election rhetoric and accusation of partisanship and bias against the media and journalists by leading political figures are anything to go by, hell will break loose on the media as December 2021 presidential elections draw close,” he said.
Fatty stated that the GPU has plans to train police officers on how to interact with journalists during their election coverage.
“We will also hold a pre-deployment engagement with more than 50 police officers who would be deployed for election duties across the country. The idea is to use this platform to sensitise them as to how to interact with journalists who would also be covering the election,” Buba Fatty, GPU accountant told participants.
Meanwhile, Pa Modou Faal Board Member GPU advised journalists not to show their support to any political party or a presidential candidate.
The two-day training which started on Thursday 14th October and will end on Friday 15th October 2021 at a local hotel in Bijilo.