The Media Academy for Journalism and Communication commenced a five-month migration project geared towards proactive and responsible reporting of migration vis-a-vis covering migration with fairness and perspective. The project is funded by CFI, a public sector operator and a subsidiary of the France Médias Monde group tied to the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs. MAJaC staff and students will benefit from numerous capacity building training and support. After the training activities, MAJaC students are expected to produce audiovisual, digital media content, well-researched feature articles and migration related factchects. MAJaC students met Emeline Vin, a representative from CFI as part of her three-day engagement to discuss and establish contact and to assist in the conceptualization and implementation of the project. The meeting is meant to assess and reinforce skills necessary for the project as well as laying out the foundations of the project with the students. The CFI project is implemented in The Gambia, Guinea, Mauritania and Niger.
MAJaC graduates 41 journalists who completed an intensive six-week training on specialized areas. These journalists were drawn from five affiliates of the Gambia Press Union. The affiliates include Women Journalist Association of the Gambia (WoJAG), Network of Agricultural Communicators (NAC), Network of Community Radios-The Gambia (NCRG), Young Journalists Association of The Gambia (YJAG) and the Sports Journalists Association of the Gambia (SJAG). The training was part of the GPU 's project dubbed, ‘GPU as a trade union and advocate for members, media and democracy'. The Vice President of the Gambia Press Union Isatou Keita, urges the graduates to share the knowledge and skills gained to other colleagues who were not opportune to be part of the training. She added that the GPU is committed to providing the necessary support through capacity building trainings for its members. Sang Mendy, the Managing Director of the Media Academy for Journalism and Communication highlighted the need for more ethical journalists, adding that capacity building does not end in the four corners of the classroom. He calls on journalists to acquire the right skills, knowledge and experience to carry out their work effectively. “You have to go out there and do it the way it is supposed to be done. Our profession that we all jealously guard can be respected. It is our responsibility to change that norm”, Mendy added. The training programmes were customized to suit the needs of each affiliate, ranging from court reporting, project proposal writing, sports writing and broadcasting and radio production and programming. Annette Camara, the President of WoJAG highlighted the importance of the training and the impact it would have on their association. The participants from the women Journalists Association of the Gambia-WoJAG were trained on project proposal writing. “We started with more than six proposals, down to three and finally we have two solid proposals courtesy of this training”. Other affiliates spoke highly of the training and assured that the knowledge gained will be put to good use. The Media Academy for Journalism and Communication is renowned for providing technical support and effective capacity building programmes for journalists and communicators in the Gambia.
FIVE MAJaC PRODUCTS SCOOP GPU AWARDS Five MAJaC products scoop the prestigious Gambia Press Union National Journalism Awards held on the 2nd December, 2022. The award is meant to recognize the excellent work of Journalists in the Gambia, for their drive to inform and educate the public. Eleven MAJaC alumni were nominated for this year’s awards, and five emerged winners in various categories. Jarra Cham who won the Migration Reporting award, said her passion for rural development led her to report on series of rural issues. According to her, MAJaC has impacted her career. “I have the vision of impacting change in the rural Gambia, where I came from. MAJaC has helped me actualized that dream and I am proud to have contributed to the development of rural Gambia through my stories’, she said. Miss Cham currently works as an Administrative Assistant at the Media Academy for Journalism and Communication. Bai Ibrahim Cham who won the Environment and Climate change award, said his passion for Climate issues is the drive behind his extensive reports on environment and climate related stories. Cham, who works at the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS), believes that MAJaC has redefined the way he writes and report on issues. Isatou Ceesay, the winner for the travel and tourism award, said the knowledge and skills she gained at MAJaC has contributed to her success. Mrs. Ceesay advised Journalists and journalism students to go for stories that will positively affect the lives and livelihood of the voiceless in society. Ebrima KB Sonko and Mustapha Ceesay won Sports reporting and human rights awards respectively. The annual GPU awards continues to recognize the work of Journalists in the Gambia, most of whom -for the recent years- are MAJaC products. During the last GPU National Journalism Award -2020/2021-, eight MAJaC alumni were nominated for the award and five won in the various categories. The school has produced students who are holding key positions in the Media and Communication sector in the Gambia.
The Media Academy for Journalism and Communication (MAJaC), has on Monday October 17 oriented new students for the foundation and Certificate levels. The students were taken through the code of conduct of the school, standards of behavior, modules to be offered and the expectations from the students in the cause of their studies. The Managing Director of the school Mr. Sang Mendy congratulated the new students. He reminded them to take their studies with outmost seriousness. Mr. Mendy assured the students that they will be equipped with the requisite knowledge, skills, experience and the right attitude at MAJaC. "It is important you understand that to succeed, you must take learning as a challenge and a responsibility to succeed, and not for the trainers to force you to learn". He said Isatou Keita, the Vice President of the Gambia Press Union, said the school offers more practical aspect which makes it different from other journalism schools. Keita who is also a trainer at MAJaC highlighted that the practicals aspect is what is going to arm the students to amass the knowledge and skills needed to excel. Ndey Ceesay, an advanced diploma student and the Vice President of the MAJaC students Union, said the Union is there to support the welfare of students. She urged them to reach out to the union whenever the need arises. Mam Sheikh Ngum is newly enrolled in the certificate level. She said she's motivated to study journalism because she wants to explore, experience and write on issues touching the lives of ordinary Gambians. "My interests are sports, politics and entertainment and I believe journalism is the perfect field for me", Ngum added. The school has over the years produced students who are contributing immensely to the development of the media landscape and communication sector in the Gambia. The School is expected to graduate four badges of students who have completed Advanced Diploma levels in journalism and communication, on the 12 November 2022 at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara Conference Center.
The minister responsible for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Prof. Pierre Gomez, on Wednesday 22nd June 2022 promised to support MAJaC students with scholarships annually. He made the promise during a familiarization tour to Media Academy for Journalism and communication (MAJaC). The higher education minister Said “The Ministry will be giving scholarship packages to your students here every year. MAJaC is like all the other institutions, we cannot be promoting TVET and exclude MAJaC. So, everybody must be given their share because we are here to serve” The higher education minister Pierre Gomez while acknowledging the key role MAJaC is playing in the development trajectory of the country also highlighted his ministry will to contribute hugely in the Academy's future projects. Samba Bah, English Language Trainer and Acting MD said, it was very prudent to have the Minister visit the school as it’s one of the leading journalism training institutions and to abreast him with some of the challenges the school is confronted with. “We need capacity for some of our staff, and most importantly scholarships. We realise that, some of our students find it very difficult to pay their tuition fees and we would like the Minister to facilitate scholarships for some of the students” Mr Bah said. Ndey Ceesay Vice President of the MAJaC Student Union during her remarks highlighted some of the challenge students face. She called on the minister to help in the standardization of the both studios, radio and TV studios at the Academy to ease the burden on students during practical sessions. Ndey also called for support to expand the campus to accommodate more students and make the environment conducive for learning.
The Media Academy for Journalism and Communication with partners last Thursday launched a five-week project to train journalists on ethical journalism. The project is meant to prepare journalists with the required skills and knowledge to do their work without any ethical problems. The training would give participants the skills in making ethical decisions in gathering and reporting their news stories. Speaking at the launch, Samba Bah the acting Managing Director, said MAJaC is experienced in implementing projects ranging from capacity building for civil society organisations, journalists and other media workers. He however urged the participants to take the training seriously. Bah further assured donors that the project will be implemented successfully by virtue of the Institutions experience in implementing projects. Representing the Media Council of the Gambia, Emil Touray former Gambia Press Union President said ethical gaps are often times committed by individuals who spent several years in the media who people think they ought to know better. He said the media must do business seriously in order for the public to take them seriously. However, Touray urged participants to participate in all activities of the training and also make good use of the knowledge they would gain. While encouraging trainers to come up with newspaper stories, audios and videos of some of these ethical challenges done by media practitioners, he encouraged the donors to provide more training on responsible journalism and media law for other journalists. The former GPU President, Touray said there is a need to also build the capacity of people who do not see themselves as journalists but do the work of a journalist as they make a lot of ethical errors. Demba Kandeh, the representative from Freedom House; the donor partners for the project said, the programme is funded by the United States Government through the United States Agency for International Development USAID. He said the number of journalists in the Gambia has increased giving the need for raising awareness on issues of ethical reporting. Kandeh assured that the trainers selected for the training are of competence and are up to the task. While hoping that participants take the training seriously. ‘I believe that journalism is more than reporting and presenting. It is about unifying people and promoting peaceful co existence and this can only be done by being truthful and independent,’ Adama Joof, a participant said The training would equip her with the required principles to guide her profession. She said any knowledge gained from the training would be well utilized in her journalistic works which she believes will make her work standout. The current President of the Gambia Press Union, Muhammed S. Bah was also in attendance and he made similar remarks.