By Omar Bah
The Newspaper Publishers’ Association, a newly formed umbrella body of newspaper publishers in The Gambia has been launched yesterday at Baobab Resort.
According to its members, the Association will promote and protect by all lawful means the interests of newspaper publishing industry in The Gambia as well as promote a common voice and platform.
In his opening remarks, the chairperson of the Association, Sam Sarr of Foroyaa said the association is formed in the wake of a growing demand by newspaper publishers in the country to come together and speak with one voice in meeting their objectives.
“As The Gambia ushered in a new democratic dispensation, we believe that this association will lay a solid and viable environment for newspaper publishers in the country. The association will also seek to provide a forum for the exchange of vital information and ever-changing dynamics confronting newspaper publishers in the country. Thus, the association comes at a time when activists and stakeholders have intensified their call for the repealing of draconian media laws in our constitution,” he said.
Mr Sarr further said the day marked a significant day in the history of newspapers in the country, saying despite their small number, newspapers play a very critical role in the country, as people rely heavily on the newspapers to have reliable information.
“Our job as newspapers is to ensure that the government provides the needed development to its citizens. We are required to hold the government accountable to the people. We in the media will not relinquish our role to ensure professionalism in the profession and to ensure quality newspapers are available to the people,” he assured.
He said the advent of December 2 raised the hopes of the people and as well created lot of opportunities for the development of the media, adding that this realisation has motivated them to form NEPA with the anticipation that the numerous challenges faced in the media will be addressed.
The launch was done by Prof Pierre Gomez of the University of The Gambia while the DPS at MoICI Ebrima Darboe reaffirmed government’s commitment to protect press freedom.