MEDIA /MILITARY RELATION – A NEW BEGINNING

The Gambia Armed Forces comprise men and women who are sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters of Gambian citizens. They have committed themselves to putting their lives on the line to play the important role of defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of The Gambia. This is indeed a noble role.

Being a public institution, it is required by section 214 to operate in a transparent manner, particularly as it is playing such an important role. The CDS does recognize this and emphasized that they are compliant to the rule of law.

The role of the media on the other hand includes informing the people about the military and holding the military accountable to the people. This is in fact a responsibility put on the shoulders of the media by section207 of the Constitution.

In short while the military needs the media to promote their plans and activities, the media needs the military for information. This is the basis of their relationship, a partnership, so to speak. Each should be professional in the execution of their work, then no tension would arise.

The media must be guided by truth, good faith and the public interest. The CDS has stated that their drive is not to transform the media into praise singers of the military but for the armed forces to be properly understood and for presentation of information not to lead to security problems.

The first step has been taken. Let us look forward to better understanding.

Needless to say, criticism is like soap water which facilitates cleansing.