Gambia ahead of polls, digital media skirt censorship

Opposition parties, decrying a lack of coverage on state and traditional media, turn to digital tools to help even the odds

Gambia ahead of polls, digital media skirt censorship

World Bulletin / News Desk

While state media in Gambia is government controlled and the private media practices self-censorship, political opponents of the small West African country’s strongman President Yahya Jammeh are using digital media to bypass the hurdles they face in reaching audiences.

Gambians are heading to presidential polls next week, on Dec. 1, and campaigns are already in motion, with the incumbent facing his former ally and a coalition of seven opposition parties.

“The Gambia Democratic Congress party does not have access to the state-owned Gambia Radio and Television Services. However we use Facebook, online radio, live streaming, and our own website to reach our audience,” Essa Jallow, press officer for the Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC), told Anadolu.

The GDC is a new opposition party formed this April by Mamma Kandeh, a former national assembly ruling party member.

When Isatou Touray, Gambia’s first female presidential candidate, announced in September that she was throwing her hat in the presidential ring, the news got widespread media attention internationally but no mention at all in the country’s state media.

But her campaign launch was livestreamed on Facebook and broadcast on Gambian online radio stations, whose operators are largely based in the United States and Europe.

 

Last Mod: 24 Kasım 2016, 11:28
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