Exiled Gambian editor authors book on Gambian Media

Book to be released on Friday                                            


By Sanna Camara

Alagie Yorro Jallow, co-founder and former managing editor of the banned Independent newspaper in The Gambia, has just published a book on the Gambian Media, which will be officially released (available for sale) on 26thOctober 2013.

Currently a lecturer in Media Studies and Communications at the Department of General Management, Martin de Tours School of Management and Economics, at the Assumption University in Bangkok, Thailand, the author, Alagi Yorro Jallow, has been living in exile since 2004, following the assassination of leading Gambian editor Deyda Hydara.

His newspaper, The Independent, considered to be “the most vibrant, highly critical independent news publication at the time”, was closed down by the state in March 2006, when it published the names of people arrested and detained in connection with an alleged coup d’etat plot against the government of Yahya Jammeh.

‘An excellent and relevant study’

Titled Delayed Democracy: How the Press Collapsed in The Gambiathe book has 250 pages and is published by Author House, USA. It analyses the effect of President Yahya Jammeh’s takeover of the Gambia from a historical, political, and socio-economic context, and offers a useful and comprehensive contribution to the legal and political debate about freedom of expression—or more accurately stated, the lack thereof—in The Gambia, said Ebrima Ceesay, former editor of Daily Observer.

“Alagie Yorro Jallow has written an excellent and relevant study that provides a well-documented insight into the deteriorating freedom of expression in The Gambia, as well as offer some helpful or useful suggestions for effecting changes that could bring about improved human rights in the Gambia. The study will also prove a valuable source of reference for students, researchers and policymakers,” he said, in reviewing the book.

Relationship between The Gambia and media unique

Going further, Ceesay explained that the study also proposes a theoretical framework specifically applicable to The Gambia, because the author maintains that the relationship between The Gambia and the media is in some ways unique.

“But there is a good balance between the theoretical material and empirical evidence, and this makes the study particularly refreshing. This is, by far, the best, most up-to-date, study available today on the state of the Gambian media since 1994. It certainly fills (or closes) a major gap in the literature on mass communication and the press in Africa generally,” he added.

‘Scholarly, extremely researched work’

The study is scholarly, extremely well-researched, theoretically sound and clearly structured, with end-notes, bibliographic references and acknowledgements.

“It is a very compelling and wellwritten account of how the Yahya Jammeh regime has, since 1994, continuously targeted freedom of expression and opinion in The Gambia, and passed draconian laws that have been used to stifle journalists, human rights defenders and government critics.

Alagi Yorro Jallow won prestigious media awards for his work as a journalist in the Gambia, including a Fellowship at Harvard University.


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