National Dialogue meets media houses

By Anna Nimiriano

Yesterday National Dialogue Co-Chair Angelo Beda met print media houses representatives to discuss the matter of effective coverage of National Dialogue activities.

The media houses that attended the meeting were Juba Monitor, The Dawn, The Witness, Al Watan, and Al Muwagif daily Arabic newspapers.  Beda said the aim of the meeting was to know from the print independent media houses why there were no stories published in the newspapers on the conference of political parties that was organized for two days in October, for the fact that the event was big and people of South Sudan want to know what is going on. He continued to say that he wants to know what was wrong and the way forward, may be the problems were from the National Dialogue or from the media houses.

 The representatives of the above media houses said the independent media are being neglected by the steering committee of National Dialogue. Some of them are not being invited to cover events of National Dialogue. There were no effective communications between National Dialogue information section and print media.

The management of the steering committee concentrates much on South Sudan Broadcasting Radio and Television as the main media houses for any event.

There is no effective cooperation with security at the entrance gate in any event taking place at the freedom hall. Sometimes journalists are not allowed to enter in the meetings or conference hall. On the other hand, the information staff of National Dialogue said, occasionally the invitations were limited, not all media houses were invited for any conference, for the reason that they didn’t have budget to cater for their needs like transportation from Juba to the states.

 For the issue of information, it was said that Media should look for information and have clear identification to easy ways for security to allow them to enter. For example journalists should have valid Identity Cards so that they would be allowed to enter by the security, especially for big events like national conferences.

However, Beda said media are very import in any country to report events on what is going on in the country. Development of this country depends on information; people want to know what is going on in the country with new changes happening.  He added that if invitation published in the newspapers or announced in radio stations said “all media houses were invited for the event, it means all media houses should attend it” even if invitations were not distributed to each media house.

The meeting ended with resolution that there would be effective communications and cooperation between media and National Dialogue. Any challenges media houses are facing is to be reported to the concerned person in order for them to work hand in hand for the development of this country.  

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