Following an editorial meeting to vet the content of your open letter to President Yahya Jammeh, we have decided not to publish the said letter in view of its content which do not fit our editorial standards. The Freedom Newspaper opposes any form of force to change a democratically elected government. Despite our opposition to Jammeh’s bad policies, we are morally obliged to manage the type of content that goes into this reputable paper.
Publishing your letter means, we are legitimating coups in Africa, which is not in line with the spirit of our Mission Statement. The Freedom Newspaper’s goal is to promote free press, democracy, good governance and accountability in the Gambia. We are opposed to coups in all its forms. The African continent has been denied development due to the military’s meddling into domestic politics. It’s our ardent belief that Africa including the Gambia can do better in the absence of the military’s participation in active politics.
We understand your frustrations, but as a media house, we valued our credibility. We don’t want to be seen as a “subversive Newspaper” where readers can call for an overthrow of a government. The Gambia is our homeland and we should not be over carried by our emotions to act otherwise. We appreciate letters highlighting the governance crisis in the Gambia and not the ones calling for a coup. We all want to see Yahya Jammeh go, but as journalists we want to assert our independence in the due execution of our duty. Governments come and go, but the Gambia remains.
We are sorry for any inconvenience our decision might have caused to you. Feel free to write any time you deem it necessary. We have no option but not to publish the said letter. It’s not a question of “censorship” but preserving the integrity of the Freedom Newspaper. Remember, any letter or story published here, we would be held accountable for it. We hope you understand where we are driving at.
On a final note, the Freedom Newspaper wishes to assure you that our decision to drop your letter was done in good faith without malice. Thanks for having confidence in our paper. Have a blessed day.
Pa Nderry M’Bai, Publisher Freedom Newspaper,
Raleigh, North Carolina,