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Media urged to eradicate discrimination against disabled persons

By Bida Elly David

Media institutions were admonished yesterday to cease sensational reporting that discriminates persons with disability in South Sudan.

This came in a three-day workshop on ethical reporting of the voices of persons with disabilities under the theme ‘Amplifying Voices of Persons With Disabilities for influencing Decision Making in the Capital Juba.’

The three-day training was organised by Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO) in partnership with Union of Journalists in South Sudan (UJOSS) and support from Light for the World International.

Sapana Abui, the Acting Managing Director of the Media Regulatory Authority pointed out that journalists should completely desist from sensational reporting that discriminates against handicapped people or people living with disability in South Sudan

‘’As journalists, you should not discriminate against persons with disabilities. It is the role of the media to amplify their voices in the society. Avoid sensationalism when reporting persons with disabilities,’’ said Abui.

More than 30 journalists were invited to attend the three-day training focused on journalistic and media gaps on reporting on disabilities as well as critics against the media professionals involved in the Society.

Abui appealed to the media to always work in the interest of the public, taking into account the interests of persons with disabilities

‘’Media is a link between government and the public as they play fundamental roles in disseminating information to the masses,’’ he stressed.

However, Jiji Stephen Mowa, the representative of Light for the World International (LFWI) said, media reports on persons with disabilities should be a collective responsibility of all media personnel and hoped media would play the greater role in raising the voices of person living with disabilities in South Sudan

‘’We believe the media plays a fundamental role in raising the voices of persons living with disabilities in societies,’’ he explained.

Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress (CEPO) said, it was a human’s right and obligation for media to protect and promote inclusion of persons with disabilities

‘’It is a human right obligation for the media to protect and promote inclusion of handicaps. The training was intended to empower journalists to effectively and accurately amplify voices of persons with disabilities in the society,’’ he said.

Yakani further said (CEPO) was optimistic that the journalists on training would acquire the knowledge and skills that should improve their reporting on inclusion of disabilities in the various media outlets they represent.

In her part, the Deputy Chairlady of the Union of Journalist Ajak Atek stressed out that at the end of the training, journalists should ensure that positive communication with persons with disabilities was crucial.

“We should consider channel of positive communication with persons with disabilities in the Society,” she said

Ajak further pointed out that journalists should maintain accuracy in reporting to enable positive understanding of information.

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