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 was supporting the idea of moving of 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 & functional English to budding journalists.
Deyda’s vision directly affected the Gambia Press Union. In fact, a mandatory training for journalists are: ‘Ethics, Principles & History of Journalism’. This training explains and stresses the importance of the “Deyda Values of Journalism,” which include objectivity, fairness, obligation to the truth and loyalty to citizens.
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’s next?” has so many possible answers. But the Gambia Press Union journalism training center must deliver an answer. The best is yet to come.
Journalism profession has taken a beating in all political seasons. And, for good reasons, journalism suffers at 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 with English language. Readers & audiences deserved to enjoy certain burst of skills, writings, analytical and creativity. All in the pursuit of getting the story, which is one of the things Gambians does not perform at best.
Throughout its success, the Gambia Press Union should continue to keep both Dixon Colley 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 Deyda Hydara do?