Tuesday, January 31, 2023

GRTS in sharp focus


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The national broadcaster appears to be suffering from political fixation. The Gambia has gone through a campaign period which was marked by massive mobilisation by political forces which had never been seen in the political history of the country.

Elections have also taken place which gave rise to results which would have been considered a dream a year before the polls. Now the winner has been declared and the president-elect is endorsed by the whole international community. It is clear that after the 19 January 2017 the current government under the outgoing President Jammeh will not be recognised by all the governments in the sub-region and many more, if not all governments, around the world. This also goes for the UN and the AU.

One would have expected the outgoing president to be seeking wise counsel to know how to free the country from international isolation. It is therefore surprising that GRTS is now broadcasting the campaign trail of the loser and not the campaign trail of the winner. What is the national broadcaster trying to prove? Who constitute their audience?

The APRC is mourning and would not want to be reminded of their loss. The winners could only be amused by the fixation of the national broadcaster on the past glory of an outgoing government. One wonders whether the personalities who are now being shown would take pride in their pictures being shown at a time when the government they supported is preparing to go out of office.

The Gambia is a country of ironies and the national broadcaster is perfecting its skills in perpetuating such ironies. Hopefully a new administration will respect the dictates of section 208 of the constitution which states that the duty of the national broadcaster is to provide outlet for divergent views and dissenting opinion.

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