Fatoumatta: The Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) behemoth is chiseling away credibility and literally chasing away key talent (Giss- Giss Show and Keur Fatou Show ‘Yanked Off the Air’). This could be the beginning of a painful decline of high expectation in public service broadcasting.
Fatoumatta: Should haphazard political strategy, political correctness and cannibalism continue, it would be difficult to bring GRTS back to public service broadcasting role, as a leading, dependable and credible media house in the country. The grapevine has it that “politically active censorship of individuals and groups magazine program’s critical of government are censored. Declining credibility, due to waning editorial independence could have a detrimental effect on the nation’s broadcaster, GRTS.
The media landscape is equally undergoing tremendous transformation, with new digital platforms emerging daily, competing for the same eyeballs and advertising revenue as operatives in the “traditional” media. Not forgetting formidable competition risk from GRTS. These are challenging times.
While GRTS remains relatively strong on balance sheet, yet GRTS is bleeding credibility and talent, key drivers for any prosperous media business. Fatoumatta: No legal restrictions can be placed on freedom of expression and speech to control the responsible spread of information. The output of every news medium is judged by the public and not by the state authorities. Media freedom plunges to worst level mainly due to government censorship and political pressures associated with the growth and pluralism.
Fatoumatta: Media freedom especially information sharing through news reports has been challenged by government censorship in countries with a low level of the democratic system. Freedom of speech in most of the African countries is still a myth, an ideal. If you do not learn how to write or tell your story intelligently, the chances of survival are minimal.
Fatoumatta: The public media have their own observations that should not be controlled by others. It is important to preserve the independence of the public media and obtaining objectivity of news is the responsibility given to journalists and media practitioners.
Fatoumatta: Ethics of Journalism changed due to self-censorship and official censorship, when media lack ethics then it threatens the peace and harmony rather than promoting it. National broadcaster lost its credibility due to censorship in an irresponsible manner. Public broadcaster can only promote peace and harmony when responsible journalism is practiced. Today, DG Ebrima Sillah is a pale shadow of its former self.