By Momodou Jarju
The Gambia has moved five (5) places in the new 2020 World Press Freedom Index, the French-based international media watchdog, Reporters Without Borders, also known as Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) revealed on Tuesday.
RSF is a leading international non-profit and non-governmental organization that safeguards the right to freedom of information and promotes free, independent and pluralistic journalism and defends media workers globally.
According to the watchdog group report, The Gambia recorded 87 out of 180 countries in the world rankings, scoring 30.62. In 2019, she recorded 92nd out of 180 countries.
The Gambia has jumped 65 places since 2013, with the biggest being in 2019 jumping to 30 spots.
During the period under review (in 2020), the country has not registered any death of a journalist, citizen journalist or media assistant according to the report.
The Gambia, RSF said, has continued to progress despite some notable press freedom violations in 2019.
RSF nonetheless said the old habits from 23 years of terror and suppression of press freedom have not yet fully disappeared.
They cited the two privately-owned radio stations, King FM and Home Digital FM, which were closed for in early 2020 and their managers were arrested for allegedly inciting hate in their coverage of protests.
The said protest was organized by a pressure group called Operation 3 years Jotna.
“A foreign journalist’s press accreditation was rescinded because his TV channel was regarded as being a pro-opposition bias,” the watchdog said.
Read foroyaa tomorrow for more on this story, where we will detail the report as well as make comparison with the previous report and the recent crackdown on media freedom in the country.