CelebratingWorld Press Freedom Day
Today, the third of May, 2021, is the World Press Freedom Day, people of South are commemorating the day together with the rest of journalists in the world. It is an important day for journalists all over the world. A day that journalists come together to discuss challenges facing them and get solutions to the problems. It is also a day journalists remember their colleagues who died in the field of journalism. At the same time it is a day to congratulate those who did well and are still doing well in the field of journalism. It is likewise a day to appreciate the continuity of press in the country and the world at large. If there is no continuity of press, there would be no information in the world.
Each country today is celebrating this day according to the condition where they are in. In South Sudan the celebration is done online due to Coronavirus Pandemic and the budget was not enough to cater for the entire necessary requirement. Journalists’ and the entire people of South Sudan and the world are expected to follow the event online. What is the expectation of journalists in this day is the most important thing to be highlighted for the public to know. Journalists in South Sudan went through many challenges. They were arrested, intimidated and harassed in the field for stories they covered or in the process of covering. These made them not to do their work as expected in the career. A number of journalists left the career due to the above mentioned conditions.
The severe conflicts in the country affected the standard of journalists. Some of them have become refugees in the neighboring countries because of hostile working environment in the country.It is because of limited freedom of expression to exercise their profession. It is important today to look in to the problems and to end some challenges. For example in print media, there were security agents deployed at the printing press removing stories that they consideredwere not for public consumption. Amongst the stories several of them were vital for the public. This exercise wasa clear indication that there is no freedom of expression in the country.
However, in this day I am calling on the authorities concerned to remove security officials from the printing Companies. Let it not be seen as if security organs are enemies to media industry to allow journalists do their work free in the field.
In case there is any misunderstanding between media and security organs, let them solve it through dialogue. On the other hand, journalists should do their work in professional manner. They should follow ethics of journalism to reduce misstating and promote their career.Nevertheless, the government should create a conducive working environment for journalists in the country.
May God bless us all.