Media and Security should work together
By: Anna Nimiriano
The Media Authority in collaboration with Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) organized a two day workshop to discuss issues between media and security in the country. The workshop was supported by Canadian government through JHR and Canadian Embassy in South Sudan. It has enlightened the two organizations on their differences in gathering information.
It was found that media and security work have similarity. The difference is that, security gathers information in the country and keeps it secretly not to be consumed by the public. Media gathers information and exposes it to public to know what is going on in the country. Due to lack of trust between the two organs, there were a lot of problems among them, which resulted in to the removal of stories at the printing press. It has created enmity among them.
It was resolved that media and security should have understanding among them, cooperate and create good working environment. They should not see themselves as enemies; all of them are working for the interest of this country. Media should do their work freely without interruption from security. Removal of stories from the newspapers reflect bad image of the country and it is tarnishing the name of the National Security. The best way is that the two organizations should have mechanism on how they should end the matter of removal of stories at the printing press. Journalists were advised to understand the media law and security Act to avoid differences among them.
If security said for example journalists should not take photos in a certain location, let them understand. It does not mean that any place is suitable for taking photos. However, safety and protection of journalists is in the hands of security in the fields and anywhere wherever they are doing their work.
Every citizen has the right to be protected by security of this country. If there is no good relationship the life of citizens including journalists would be bad. They were told to work hand in hand especially for the coming periods where the government is preparing for the formation of transitional government of national unity in the country. During this period of time, media is expected to work positively for the interest of the country, to disseminate messages of peace to the public to reduce insecurity in the country. South Sudan is big, it can accommodate everybody. Freedom of expression has been limited by law, not everything should be reported by media for the purpose of peace in the country.
It has been good for media and security to discuss face to face and promote adequate spirit of working together.