Topical Commentary

With Odongo Odoyo

Odongo Odoyo

Heavy in my heart after watching footage in Al-Jazeera of a lady journalist being mishandled by security forces at the contentious Gaza, l came to the long theoretical and practical conclusion that indeed the scribes are venerable. Guevara Budeiri’s offense which led to the mishandling and arrest was to be at the scene of action where the forces were clearing. She was actually doing her job the one she knows better and the one that brings food to her table. Watching the scenario, l was astounded by the act of the security agents since the lady was simply having in her hand, a notebook a pen and a microphone connecting her with her cameraman. The way she was handled by the uniform officers with their guns and all types of arms leaves one wondering as to when civility will ever come between the security organs and journalists the world over. It is like the security forces learned one way to deal with the scribe which demonstrates that in most cases the journalists must be treated the same way globally. It is unfortunate that some agencies do not understand the role of the media and would want to have them gagged or stopped from reporting what was happening in society. Can one imagine a world without the press? The world without information, education and entertainment. The world would be dark and blank without the media. It has to come a time that other players in the world’s development activities must realize and come to terms with the work and the role of the media. Hostilities and mistreatments should be a thing of the past. The world reports on the mistreatment of journalists are really alarming. It should be accepted that all are playing collaborative roles of developing the world and human beings. The international media and journalists organizations should be seen to be playing equal roles without discrimination or outplaying a one side game. It is time journalists of the world speak with one voice in matters that are affecting the profession. It is great that in our own the media players have, the Union of Journalists of South Sudan (Ujoss) and AMDISS have put their houses in order to see them through to another term. The hopes of many are that they should be able to link the scribe in the country with the world happenings and with other key players improve working atmosphere for all journalists and media houses in the country. The local security organs should remain friendly and cooperate with the scribes during their duties. The scribes are the voice of the voiceless and the only avenue used for checks and balance in the public sector. There are arm-twisting and threats from those who do not want to be counted as being transparent and accountable to their public duties. These should not deter the journalists from doing their work effectively.

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