No need to blame, work hard
By Loro Louis Yugu
Just the other day, I was in my own world thinking of whether my 7,000 SSP would buy me 50 Kg of maize flour for my family. Suddenly, as I was taking rest, a colleague of mine brought to my attention the fate of media fraternity in South Sudan. I was taking my coffee in Konyokonyo Market, when he told me that the deputy Minister of Information has recently decried lack of professionalism among local media practitioners in a two day workshop a week ago.
He was showing me an old copy of Juba Monitor newspaper. He pointed at the headline on this page that says, “Pitfalls of media driven by half-baked workshop- journalists,” written by Victor Lugala.
In that opinion piece, the author, Lugala said some senior journalists were jolted out of their armchairs and probably irked by the wakeup call from the deputy Minister of information.
Indeed reporters as well as subeditors are like foot soldiers who must be well equipped before they march for action. They should be equipped through trainings and workshops. Not by hunting for their mistakes yet they are neglected when it comes to training.
Well, it was outstanding for a minister to come out point blank that there was lack of professionalism in the fourth estate. Her move has brought a debate of freedom of expression versus professional journalism or ethical reporting. And if it is taken positively, the media will never be the same.
Surprisingly, there are many editors who swagger calling themselves consultants, most senior, experienced and all sorts of magnified titles. They claim to have roamed the whole world but ended up in this country described by some out there as war-torn or war ravaged. Others claim that they have been in this jargon for many years.
When the deputy Minister rapped the media over professionalism, especially on the numerous blunders, my roadside radio told me that the senior editors where hiding behind the junior editors for the mix-ups.
I was wondering how an elephant could hide in a flower garden. Hiding behind the subeditors will not help or develop the media industry. Let the truth be told that mistakes would only be eradicated with commitment and training of the so called junior editors or reporters. That is the only way to go for a successful media house.
An editor should not be interested in pointing out an error in the morning when he has not done his duty like checking the facts, the flow of the story, the captions, background information and the general story lay out and so on.
Most of the media houses are just there doing their work without a well-defined system. There are editors who are running only after coinage but give little time to thoroughly revise the news articles.
I like the sentiments echoed by my Editor in Chief who said “If the government says the journalists are not professionals, let them build their capacity, let them initiate institutions that can build the capacity of journalists.” This is the naked truth that should really be applauded.
She further said that some individuals have poor journalistic background but they claim to be experts or media professional.