Dakar, Senegal (PANA) - The Director of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in Africa, Gabriel Gbaglo, has said despite the great strides made by the media, a “lot needs to be done” in the area of “quality journalism”.
In an exclusive interview with PANA in Dakar on the occasion of International Press Freedom Day, Gbaglo said Africans need to tell their own stories through their own media outlets to the outside world instead of relying on foreign media to the job.
However, for that situation to be fully achieved, the IFJ Africa Director insisted “we need to do more in the area of quality journalism”.
On the situation of press freedom in Africa, Gbaglo said despite the progress, the battle for total press freedom is far from over in Africa.
To buttress this, he said a lot had been achieved over the past two decades in terms of media pluralism and the general media landscape in Africa.
Gbaglo added that when it comes to press freedom and quality journalism, “lots of work need to be done. Yes, in terms of press freedom and quality journalism, we need to do more.”
Delving into media freedom in the sub-region, the IFJ director singled out the Gambia as among the few countries where journalists find it extremely difficult to do their work.
He named Eritrea and Somalia as other trouble spots for media workers in the Horn of Africa, blaming Somalia’s problematic situation on what he called “collapsed state”.
Gbaglo also stressed the importance of the media in the development process of every society.
He sent a message to political leaders, saying: “Human beings are the same everywhere, either black or white, Moslem or Christian. We all have the same needs; we have the right-to-life, the right to express ourselves and the right to better life.
“So, leaders need to make sure these needs are met, citizens are able to live decently, they are able to express themselves freely and they are able to participate in public affairs, otherwise, one day, they will leave like what happened in Tunisia,”
-0- PANA MLJ/BOS/MA 3May2011