Odongo Odoyo

Topical Commentary

With Odongo Odoyo

Whoever coined the adage of “learning is a continuous process” was very right. No one is above this as we came to learn and understand during the two days’ workshop for editors and station managers of media houses in the country which ended yesterday in Juba. Indeed with more than 30 years’ experience in the journalistic world it seems to me like l was back in college. This is not the point; my point is that there are a number of media laws that a journalist must equip him/herself with. During the media laws presentation, Molana Jeremiah Swaka Moses took us through the nitty-gritty of the requirements and which would enable each in the process to operate without crossing the red-line. This subject was earlier on touched by Moyiga Nduru who reflected back to the good old days of the profession where a “spade was called a spade” not a big stone. It is such workshops that will help shape the up-coming journalists and make them what the profession requires of them. We cannot sit on the fence and still claim to be improving the media industry in the country. The laws of the land that govern the media and journalists are very clear. What is lacking are those interested in investing in the sector. Which brings to question what are the challenges facing the industry. There must be some semblance of improved industry that one can be proud of unlike right now where a number of print and electronic media houses have gone to shut. Because of harsh economic situation which affected most sectors of economic development. Still kudos to the organizers, the Media Authority, CEPO and UNESCO for having come to being by bringing editors and station managers together for this worthy  cause. Each editor left the hall well aware and understanding that there was immediate and urgent need to address some of the major issues addressed by experts in the workshop. It became an eye opener and will remain to go a long way to improve the standard of media in the country if adopted and followed to the latter. There are no two ways to this end and there must be action by editors and station managers for the good and improved industry. Such gatherings are necessary to bring oneness and closer working relationship in addressing matters of national interests. It is my hope that there be more and in all the National Editors Forum should do more by ensuring the industry was manned by proper and qualified personnel unlike the fear which was expressed by many speakers during workshop that most journalists operating in this country were far below standard. This is where editors and station managers are required to ensure quality in employing only those who are qualified to hold the position that conform to the required standard. There must be a starting point. Media Authority, UNESCO and CEPO have done their part. Can the editors now take it up?

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