Journalists should be impartial
On 27th of September 2021,Community Media Network, South Sudan (CoMNeTSS) with support from UNDP, UNESCO and NPA, organized a workshop under the Theme ‘’Dialogue and Reconciliation and the role of Community radio stations in promoting peaceful co-existence”.
During the discussion, it was said that journalists who work for peace stories should be encouraged and write more stories on peace issues. This would require them to involve chiefs in the areas for the reasons that they were the administrators in the grassroots.They know how the conflict had started and would narrate the real situation on the ground.
It would help other communities to support journalists in case of investigative story, those journalists who were identified to write peace stories Awards, wereLasuba Memo, a journalist working for Eye radio, Keji Jeniffa freelance journalist and Alex who is also a freelance journalist in Tambura. Those three journalists should make change in the areas they have chosen if they do the stories in professional manner.
The impact of their stories is expected tochangethe country.In their presentation, they mentioned risk of working environment for example, in the case of Tambura County, which the fighting began in June 2021.
Journalists were advised to have good approach with people they were interviewing from community levels. Their stories must have evidence from the right sources. The big challenges were how can community come out from the culture of revenge as one of the genesis of problems in othercommunities? It was likewise said that the conflict in South Sudan made a lot of distractions including killing of Church personnel.
Isaac Kenyi, Activist in Catholic Church said, church had played great roles during the wars. One of the documents written by church leaders during the conflict was that.” Let my people close” means let the people of South Sudan chose what they want at the end they have chosen separation. Church too supported the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA} because the idea came from the grass root.
In 1992, SPLM entered in Juba, majority of people run to the churches, because they knew the power of church. In 1999 SPLM defeated government, SCC issued a statement said “we stand for peace and remained united “as people of one country. However, where is the unity of South Sudan now? We need to go back and think how people struggled for this country
After all this struggle for separation in the country, another war erupted on 15th of December, 2015.Has our independence changed our situation, it is an answer to all of us.Those who caused problems in South Sudan are living in hotels and eating good food. But the rest of the people are suffering with insecurity and economic crisis. It is because the peace we have is not expected by the people of South Sudan.
At the end, we need all our refugees to come home. Journalists should report accurately, balance stories in order to bring total peace in the country. Journalists should understand when ever disagreement occurs; there is conflict and need public to know. Negative way of looking towards others in terms of community, Journalists should avoid it including hate speech and gender discrimination.
It was discovered that, journalists sending fake information to social media may have negative impact. Thus, People should avoid cultural discrimination like mentioning people according to their ethnicity.
May God bless us all.