On Responsible Journalism

On Responsible Journalism

77

We would like to commend the National Assembly member for Kombo Central Constituency for coming out to clarify that he was never arrested by personnel of the National Intelligence Agency as widely alleged by the online media.

It was indeed highlighted by the Lawmaker himself that he was instead invited for questioning after he was said to have been involved in the sale of a particular plot of land to two different people with the parties lodging a complaint against him.

As lamented by the lawmaker himself, media personnel often capitalise on other people’s predicament to sell their papers, especially when it involves public figures. He went as far as saying that he was puzzled by the fact he was quoted by the online media even though he wasn’t contacted neither did he offer interview to any medium both at home and abroad. It is therefore very important that we verify the information at hand before spreading news that could smear the image of other people.

Journalists cannot always guarantee truth, but getting the facts right is one of the cardinal principles of journalism. We should always strive for accuracy, give all the relevant facts we have and ensure that they have been checked. When we cannot corroborate information we should say so.

Our advice to those people bent on smearing the image of The Gambia for their own selfish interests, is that there is no point involving yourself in sensational journalism especially when you are aware that the information you are about to or have already released isn’t accurate and involves factual misrepresentation.

The clarification by the lawmaker that not only was he not arrested but that it has nothing to do with politics, as also speculated, should definitely shame the  people who are hiding behind the noble profession of journalism to spread lies about their own country.