WORLD-On road to end crime against Journalist
Tereza Jeremiah Chuei
As the world celebrates the International Day to End Impunity for crimes against Journalists (IDEI), a number of media houses still faces a lot of challenges among them,harsh and hostile environment.
In an interview with Juba Monitor, the minister of Information, Michael Makuei Lueth said that, the plan for the government to purchase the printers remains valid but lack budget.
“The plan I saidpreviously that the government was to purchase printers to reduce on the cost was still valid only that there was no budget to implement the purchase of the printers, “he said.
The Digital Editor of City review, Charles Lotara said that lackof access to information and freedom of speech were the mainchallengesfacing Journalists and media outlets in the country.
“Access to information, freedom of self-expression is part of the challenges affecting journalists, for instant a UN agentscannot give you information if you did not book for an interview,Lotara said.
“As a Journalist the only requirement is the identity. If you failed to obtain the information from source as journalists, it mean you failed to provide the right information to the public,” he added.
He added that the issue of self- censorshipwas also affecting the reporting of vital information to the public.
“There are times when news editor removed stories before sending them for publicationin case he or she notices that the story is going to bring issues to the media house,” he lamented.
“I urge the media houses to provide Journalists with better pay, because if not, then the issue of brown envelope Journalistic will not go away since Journalist wanted to maintain their families and themselves. If they don’t get enough and any one offer them some brown envelop then they will take and end up doing the story the way that person wants, “he stressed.
On his part, a Voice of America (VOA) journalist in Juba, Wakhe Simon Wudusaid thatJournalist were not free to do their duties.
“The law is saying it free but then somewhere it is restricted for instant, Journalist are not allowed to go to the street to interview people and at the same timethey are not allowed to go to the street fordocumentary, or to speak to people,
Carrying a gun in juba is more easy then carrying a camera, this is because once you are carrying a camera anytimesecurity may come across and ask you what you are doing with this camera, who allowed you and where are its papers from media authority. These are the kind of interrogation Journalist go through, “Wudu stressed.
He further stated thatthe harassment had made journalists to become cautiousin whatever they were writing or doing and if not they would become a target.
“One of the parliamentarian threatened the media not to report issues related to money, these are the kind of things that are frustrating journalists. The kind of intimidation and harassment thatare blocking the work of journalist across South Sudan, “he said..
However, the President of the Union of Journalist of South Sudan (UJOSS), Mr. Oyet Patrick Charles called on the government to look into crimes committed against Journalist and bring perpetrator to book.
“When a crime is committed against a Journalist, then the issue should be investigated, those who have commits the crime should be brought to book and should face the law,” Charles explained.