EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, THE GAMBIA: A concerned Gambia who stood strong in the fight against Gambia’s former president Yahya Jammeh has said that it is universally accepted that unnecessary restrictions entangling the issuing of licenses to people who wanted to engage in the media industry is forcing many who people are hungry for information do rush to other outlets like WhatsApp, sound cloud and others social media.
In a video posted on his Facebook page, Essa Abokarr Sey said the truth is that the trained and the untrained, the genuine and the not genuine and the security conscious and those that are against anything legal are all mixed in those social media avenues.
“It is more difficult for a democratically elected government like that of Adama Barrow’s because elected governments are not expected to use the executive arm to muzzle freedom of expression even though freedom of expression has to go with responsibility.
Since his coming into office in January last year and throughout his 2016 campaign, Gambia’s president Adama Barrow promised to be a staunch supporter of media freedom and freedom of the press but since then, several people applied for either radio, television or newspaper license but only few were approved.
Many Gambians now resort participate in social media groups like Whatsapp to access information on the activities in the country which are normally not authentic. “One of the best ways now is to discourage pollutants and hearsay information on the social media,” Mr. Sey said.
He also recognised and appreciates President Barrow’s recent engagement of the media, saying that was a step in the right direction. “The same concern I have about things affecting The Gambia is the same way I am motivated about the improvement of the country.”
During a one-on-one interview with Eye Africa TV last week, President Barrow recognised the broadcaster as one of the strong media outlets in the country that contributed to frustrating former President Jammeh to cede power. Mr. Sey said Eye Africa deserved the President’s recognition, saying they are a team that courageously stood when things were hard and during the political impasse. “President Barrow has promised to be the most media friendly. He should therefore look into TV licenses in the country.”
He said as the world is now in the electronic age, unnecessary restrictions entangling the issuing of licenses for TV, radio or newspapers must be removed, emphasising that the competition should remain open and healthy.