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Journalists told to report facts to minimize conflict

By Elia Joseph Loful

Journalists have been told to report factual stories to minimize conflicts in the country, the Commissioner of Access to Information Commission Nicodemus Ajak said yesterday.

The call comes in the wake of rising inter-communal fighting in most parts of the Country that has killed hundreds and several others injured.

Speaking during the launch of Peace Centre for Journalists at the Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS), Ajak said there was need for journalists to often report factual information to correct rumors that could spark conflict.

 “The element that journalists need to work for is the truthfulness and accountability. So this Centre will help you to verify facts before relaying them to the public, your role as a journalist is to minimize conflict in the country,” he said.

The Centre which would be managed by Association of Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS) was established with support from United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The Centre which is equipped with computers with access to internet would enable journalists and media practitioners to get reliable information they need.

He added that reporters should stop reporting hate speech stories which may sometime instigate violence among communities.

“Your objective as journalists is to unite people, not to divide them by reporting bad part of any event,” he said.

Ajak pointed out the importance of reporters to ensure that the voice of voiceless was heard rather than dwelling on reporting stories that focus on people in power.

UNESCO Country representative reiterated that the organization works to build peace, train journalists and support them with resources to disseminate peaceful stories.

“It is my hope that the Peace Centre that we launched today will enable the journalists and members of civil society to properly update peaceful in formation and use to influence communities to embrace building,” Pati said.

He urged the government to integrate peace development centers and initiate to the national level so as to obtain sustainable development in the country.

Pati further stressed that media was one of the ways to achieve peace in any society warning journalists to refrain from reporting hate speech messages.

“Now effective communication has become an alternative tool in achieving peace. I want to remind journalists and editors that you have a role to play to ensure you demonstrate properly, avoid politics and refrain from reporting hate speech stories from your reporting,” he expressed.

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