Gambia Press Union
Gambia Press Union (GPU) was founded in 1978 by a group of private journalists under the leadership of the veteran Gambian journalist and publisher, the late Mr. W. Dixon Colley.
The union has grown to number more than 200 registered members many of whom are freelance journalists. Others work for both the print and electronic media including some in government service.
The GPU is a legally registered union that is dedicated not only to press freedom and media development, but also to the development of the country in general, and has under its umbrella The Association of Health Journalists.
GPU aims to be a champion of press freedom and the right of journalists to practice their profession in The Gambia. To that end it has taken issues with the government of the day in both the first and the second republics and is particularly concerned about the anti-press legislation programme of the present government. Through mass sensitisation campaigns and court action, it has succeeded in having the government repeal the Media Commission Act with its draconian provisions and repressive measures.
Currently, the union is seeking to bring about further reforms in the law, particularly the recently introduced Criminal Code (Amendment) Act 2005, the Newspaper (Amendment) Act 2004 and Decree Numbers 70 and 71. The GPU has also organised and co-organised conferences and workshops on press freedom, freedom of expression, democracy and development.
However, the ongoing prosecution and intimidation of the media including imprisonment of professionals have – together with the poverty of the media and its professionals – weakened the GPU organisation (five board members are in exile or have left the country). As a consequence, the GPU is today run by an Executive of four as opposed to nine. In spite of all this, the GPU and its secretariat are operational.
|Gambia Press Union|
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