By Halimatou Ceesay
The Professor of Law in Seattle, USA who works both with the Kenyan Truth Commissions from 2009-13,South African from 1996-2001 and Cambodia Documentation center from 1995 to date on transitional justice has called for closer working relationship between Truth Reconciliation and Repatriation Commission (TRRC) and media in order to register success in their work.
Ron Slye made this remarked on Thursday at Ocean Bay Hotel during a one-day training workshop for at least 30 journalists from both print and electronic media.
Professor Slye further called on the Gambian media to be independent when reporting on TRRC proceeding adding that journalists’ ethics in reporting truth during TRRC proceeding is important.
“Media should try and give support to TRRC concerning about what they (TRRC) will say during the proceeding because if media fail to give support to TRRC it can undermine their functions,” Slye urged media practitioners.
He also talked in detail about both the Kenyan and South African experience in their truth commission while stressing that running the affairs of the truth commission is not easy to go by.
US Professor urged TRRC members to use all avenues in order to convince the minds of victims to appear before the Commission so as to win the confidence of the general public in their work rather than the majority of the victims decided to appear out of camera.
According to Slye, investigative journalists will have a crucial role to play in the TRRC by coming forward and give credible information concerning about the crimes committed before.
The executive director TRRC, Baba Galleh Jallow revealed before journalists that his institution is currently pushing for medical treatment for April 11 victims and they (TRRC) is also trying to get scholarship for some victim’s children in order for them to continue their education.
According to TRRC boss Jallow, media should serve as a manager to the public opinion thus describing the media as an active partner in public opinion while using the chance by urging the media personnel to use the media wisely not vice-visa.