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Published On: Thu, Nov 10th, 2022

Community Media Sustainability Policy Validated

The Department of Information Servicesin collaboration with the Network of Community Media,a project funded by the UNESCO Regional Office in Dakaron Wednesday validated the media sustainability policy on the situation of community radios in the Gambia, a document developed few years ago by their partner Mr. PerOesterlund from Denmark.

However, the department is implementing “the Support to Sustainability of Community Media in the Gambia” with its objectives to produce policy framework for the development and sustainability of community media and to build capacities of community media personnel and managers.

The validation came prior to series of engagements and consultations with stakeholders and partners resulted in the development of a background document on the state of community media in the Gambia.As a policy guide withthe support of UNESCO, a community media sustainability policy was been drafted.

Speaking at the occasion held at the Khamsys Technologies ltd in Bijilo, The Director of the Department of Information Services, Madam Aisha Davies stated with confirmation that there are over a dozen radio stations that define themselves as community radio, which almost all of them are members of the Network of Community Radio, a body organization established to, among other objectives, foster the sharing of good practices.

Madam Davies revealed that the activity came specifically through the project “Journalism and Media,” launched in October 2016 and completed in December 2017, which was financed as part of the EU’s Governance Program, contributing to media reform in The Gambia.

The overall objective of this project, she highlighted was to contribute to better democratic governance through improving freedom of the press and the quality of information available to the population in the Gambia.

The project, among others, she accorded targeted community media, which is a key player in providing quality information to rural populations and youth through media and information literacy.

The Director concluded that it is against this backdrop that the policy framework was developed to propose modalities and conditions for stable income generation and long-term sustainability for the community media in The Gambia.

In his remarks, Amadou Bah, the Secretary General of the Network of Community Radios commended the Department of Information Services, NATCOM and UNESCO for the support rendered for the development of the background document, stating that community media exists to meet the needs of the communities which could go a long in helping them rendering their work effectively.

He noted that they cannot effect their work as community media if they are not strengthen both financial and resource wise to sustainability which would eventually help the implement their programs efficiently at community level.

“Community radio is all about for the interest of the community that we serve,” he stated. To ensure that access to information is effected at community levels.

That part of their requirements as community media is to ensure that they are able to link direct with the state broadcaster during current affairs programs, especially the core or prime news time to ensure that the community is able to gain the information broken to their own languages.

 For her part, FatouNjie, the program officer for the Gambia National Commission for UNESCO (NATCOM) applauded the Ministry of Information and the Department of Information Services for the cordial working relations exhibited over the years, stating that the draft policy would serve and help media regulators and government institutions to provide regulatory environment to recognize the values of community media and supports its long term sustainability.

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