Professionalism, Pride and Press Freedom: A Holistic Program to Strengthen Media Workers in The Gambia

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) has launched a program designed to enhance the skills of journalists in The Gambia and strengthen the institutions that work to defend their rights.

The 20-month program, which began in November 2010, is called “Professionalism, Pride and Press Freedom: A Holistic Program to Strengthen Media Workers in The Gambia.”

The objectives are to enhance the skills of journalists and editors, increase communication among all Gambian media professionals, and strengthen the organizations that represent them and work to protect their rights.

ICFJ is working in collaboration with the Gambia Press Union (GPU), the leading press association, and Foundation for Legal Aid, Research and Empowerment (FLARE), a human rights organization established by a group of Gambian lawyers in 2006 to advance the cause of good governance and basic freedoms.

The program will meld training in journalistic skills, ethics and management with the array of possibilities offered to media through the use of digital tools. ICFJ will also provide legal support that enables both organizations and the media sector as a whole to provide better protection for journalists. The singular goal of these combined efforts is to bolster media reform in The Gambia through capacity-building support for media associations and outreach and training on media skills and freedoms.

The project is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. It has four major components:

  • Management assistance to organization that work to support journalists.

  • Legal assistance to the associations to refine their strategies to respond to punitive laws.

  • Training for young journalists and bloggers, and skills-building for mid-career professionals.

  • Improved communication among journalists to strengthen professional networks.

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