Authorities should support media
Yesterday was the World Press Freedom Day. It was celebrated online worldwide to discuss challenges facing journalists in the world. In South Sudan, many issues were discussed through panel presentations; journalists expected the authorities and Associations working for media houses to provide solutions and way forward to their problems. In South Sudan, participants were divided in four places where internet was adequate like UNESCO, AMDISS, America Corner and others.
There were many issues mentioned and recommendations were outlined, if it is put in to practice, it will develop media in the country. Such as removing security officials from the printing Companies, partners should support media houses, journalists should do their work professionally, and there should be unity among journalists instead of criticizing themselves and so many others.
On the celebration of WPFD, it was expected to end some condition that are hindering progress of journalists in various places. It was mentioned that media in South Sudan has a lot of problems due to severe conflicts in the country that resulted to harassment, intimidation, arrests and so many forms of bad practice to journalists.
However, it was recommended that dialogue must continue between the media and security because of removal of stories. Journalists cannot continue discussingthe same topic every year and remain the same because there is no implementation. It was mentioned that government had planned to establish offices of media authority, but it was not executed due to funding.
It was mentioned that for media to function well, it needs effective coordination and understanding with authorities.In this regards, government shouldprioritize needs of media authority and establish full offices to carry their activities.
It was said that there was proposal in the office of the Minister of Information to avail budget to establish other units in media authority but it was not implemented. If the office is complete, we can see who is interfering in the work of journalists.
Many people paid tribute to those who died in the field of journalism during those years. The other challenges were COVID-19 which made itimpossible for journalists to progress. As it was freedom day everybody has right to freedom of speech. In this day we were supposed to award an institution that worked to build the capacity of journalists in the country.
May God bless us all.