By KhamisCosmas Lokudu
First and far most, I would like to thank South Sudan Media Authority and Journalists for Human Rights [JHR] for their tremendous Support from the Government of Canada for organizing the National Media policy symposium in the Republic of South Sudan under the Theme; Strengthening the Media in South Sudan towards professional, vibrant and free Media for all.
The Media Authority yesterday the 27th of November 2018 provided the gathering with three key media laws that are vital and necessary for the operation of the media Houses and journalists as well in South Sudan. The three media laws includes Media Authority regulations on the Accreditation of Journalists, Media Authority regulations on broadcasting Media, and media Authority regulation on print media all are 2018 regulations issued under section 67 of the media authority act 2013.
In reference to chapter II of the Media Authority regulation on Accreditation of journalists 2018 rule 4, (1) says any journalist, being a citizen or resident of South Sudan , who wishes to be recognised as an “accredited journalists” may apply to the Authority for such status. The application shall be made by submission of application form to be provided by the authority, and such other information or documents as the authority may require. A journalist shall be deem to be “ordinarily resident in South Sudan” if he/she has the residence permit in South Sudan.
According to rule 4 (2) of media authority regulation on accreditation of national journalists 2018, clearly says that, accreditation shall be granted only to an individual, and not to an organization wishes to seek accreditation for more than one journalist employed by it, each of the journalists concerned shall submit separate application for accreditation.
Again rule 4 (3) of the media regulation authority on accreditation of nationalists remind the journalists, online media, including the offline media that, the Authority reserves the right to withdraw the accreditation from the journalist in case of proven misuse of the accreditation by the journalist concerned.
The obligations of accredited journalists according to rule (7) of Media authority regulation on accreditation of journalists 2018 shall (a) observe the code of ethics for journalists, (b) observe the rules and procedures determined for those events, (c) not unnecessarily interfere in the course of the event they attend and he/she must carry the accreditation badge on them at all times. In that understanding, therefore, I would like to encourage the practising journalists who are exercising their duties in South Sudan to find time and visit the media authority office and collect all the three media laws that I mentioned in this article to protect the work that each and every journalist do in the field of Journalism.
Accreditation of foreign journalist is covered in chapter III rule 9 (1) of the media authority regulations on accreditation of foreign journalists 2018 which clearly indicates that any journalist, who is not a citizen or who, being a citizen, is not ordinarily resident in South Sudan, shall apply for accreditation as a journalist through a third party to facilitate the journalist’s application. The same rule 9(1) tells us that, the application shall be made in a form to be provided by the authority and foreign journalists must obtain a no-objection letter from the authority in order to receive entry visa from South Sudan embassy.
Finally, a Journalist means any person with formal training in mass communication and has a recognized qualification to work for a media house on the news coverage, editing news presentation, programming, photographing and film production as interpreted by Media Authority regulation on accreditation of journalist 2018 page 4.