AUTHORITY IN FACE TO FACE WITH FAKE NEWS
With Odongo Odoyo
My friends at the Media Authority came face to face and got shocked that fake news was doing the round against them alleging they had barred three prominent civil society leaders from holding any press conference except one. On receiving this news which would have been juicy for public consumption if it was true. My colleague Nema took it upon herself to get the truth from the authority’s Managing Director, Elijah Alier who dismissed in totality the fake news circulating and outlined the institution’s mode of operations. In fact, they really wanted to know the source(s) of such news circulating and portraying the authority as being biased in its dealing. I have been closely watching and monitoring the activities of the authority for a very long time. As the regulator of the media industry in the country, their role encompasses around many activities including the control of fake news or information. They are in the next step of making journalism a respected profession be it in the print or electronic media. Their latest move is to launch code of conduct for the practice of journalism in the Republic of South Sudan which is scheduled to take place tomorrow at the authority headquarters in Gumbo Shirkat Telecom House. This is an indication that the authority meant well to the public by having properly qualified scribes who would give them what it takes in educating, informing and entertaining. We must all agree that the journey to reach here has been really a struggle which must be appreciated in and within the media industry. There should be commitment to the professional ethics that could pave ways to the successful environment in and outside the country. Many will agree with me that since the setting up of the authority at least cases of arbitrary arrest and detention of journalists have reduced significantly. A room has been created for arbitration and more still needs to be done. It takes two to tangle. The code of conduct will come handy as it will direct and propel professionalism. It will also be an advantage for practicing professionals to be identified and accredited accordingly to reduce cases of masqueraders and quacks who have flooded the profession. From where l am, l still believe that something good will come out of the authority’s efforts to streamline the media industry to compete effectively with others sister states and the international connections. With proper code of conduct and accreditation of professionals, the media industry is set to gear-up to the expected height. All key players should give a hand to ensure the success of modelling the media industry succeeded. There are potentials and we only need to identify them and make good use in discharging our duties. This has to be collective with the aim of being the best. A number of up-coming professionals have shown that the sky is the limit. They need to be nurtured in a conducive atmosphere where fake news are of the yesteryears.