As a New Year dawns, we pray that press freedom should be respected across the world. We are tired of seeing journalists getting molested, harassed, imprisoned or killed. The year that has just gone by has been a traumatic one for journalists.
We pray that authorities should decriminalize defamation and let the journalistic code of conduct regulate the practice of journalism.
We pray that the Jammeh Government should repeal the two draconian pieces of legislation – the Criminal Amendment Act 2004 and the Newspaper Registration Act 2004 - which hamper the practice of journalism in this country.
We pray that government should re-open The Independent newspaper, Sud FM Radio so that we can have a vibrant media culture in this country.
We pray that the authorities should see us not as enemies but partners in development.
We pray that our colleague Chief Ebrima Manneh who disappeared in mysterious circumstances in 2006 will come out of nowhere this year to our eternal joy.
We pray that those who take pleasure in harassing or killing journalists should see the value of our work and leave us alone.
We pray that Allah should give us journalists the strength to stand for the right, regardless of persecution right, left and centre.
We pray that the enemies of press freedom should not die through strange ailments but should live long enough to see the better society that journalists relentlessly crusade for.
We pray that the killers of Deyda Hydara should be brought to justice this year. We pray that wherever his killers are hiding, the investigating authority the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) should take it upon themselves to root them out and punish them in accordance with the laws of The Gambia.
We pray that those who disagree with journalists should not resort to the gun but to the pen. We offer the right of reply to any aggrieved person.
We pray that our journalistic values of truth, objective and balance will make a difference in the New Year.