Monday, July 22, 2024

ZAKARIA KEMO KONTEH – OPINION: Boycott The Fatu Network…

- Advertisement -

From well established and enduring democracies to a nascent one like ours, we are confronted with an almost inescapable realization that democracy anywhere is messy but it is the best form of government there is and the most preferable to dictatorship and autocracy. Individual freedom, liberty and choice as well as freedom of the press guaranteed and protected by democracy are some of its most vital benefits. These choices include freedom of association but also involves freedom to dis-associate as and when deemed necessary.

Media houses play a very important role in supporting and strengthening democratic ideals and reinforcing its culture. They do so through fair, balanced and accurate reporting of events and people of vital public interests. They help in ensuring accountability, integrity and transparency in government and in service delivery through credible, investigative and fearless journalism. But by deviating from responsible norms, media can also be used for all the wrong reasons in fomenting division, anger and animosity in a society  – all of which are antithetical to democratic values.

- Advertisement -

So, the decision by the Fatu Network’s “Tonyaa Kesso” show host to invite a foul- mouthed individual known for hauling insults and for his serial vituperative attacks directed at Hon Ousainou Darboe may be acceptable under protected freedom of speech but could also be a  worrying sign of editorial weakness on the part of the Network and lack of total control and training on the part of the host. Such uncontrolled, unregulated and unrestrained programs could bring chaos and troubles beyond the four corners of the studios and into the general population. It is my expectation that any show that is hosted on a respected and widely reached platform like TFN should have a ground rules of basic decency, responsibility and substance. Anything that soils the Network’s reputation or threatens its credibility or have the potential to ishould be looked into with great urgency.

Gambians should not be interested in The Fatu Network or any  media platform only for election purposes. Our cultural fabrics and national identity should outlast any election or sentimental politics. We should not sell our souls neither debase our humanity just to win an election. The unity, peace,  security  and development of our country, recognition of our cultural values and the prosperity of our our people should be our collective central focus in this election cycle and beyond.

For those of you calling for a boycott, it is your inherent rights to disassociate yourselves from any media platform including The Fatu Network if you feel they do not add value to you but it is my firm believe that the current campaign smacks of impulse and therefore counter productive .Tonyaa Kesso is not the only show hosted on the Network and certainly the last episode is not the only episode you have ever watched on the platform. There are still so many others you may work together to achieve  in the interest of democracy and good governance in our country. I know  Hon Ousainou Darboe will not boycott the Fatu Network just because  someone used the platform to rain insults on him. Express your disappointment and disagreement and even lodge a formal complaint with the proprietor and the management of The Fatu Network but going as far as boycotting the entire platform is ill-advised, unnecessary and, quite frankly, ineffective!

Popular Posts