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South Sudan Media urged not to discriminate against persons with disabilities

By Michael Tapeng Ohure

Journalists should desist from sensational reporting that discriminates against persons living with disabilities in South Sudan, Sapana Agyuli Abuyi, the acting Managing Director of the Media Regulatory Authority said on Thursday.

He was speaking at the opening of a three-day workshop on ethical reporting of the voices of persons with disabilities in the capital, Juba.

“As journalists, you should not discriminate against persons with disabilities. It is media’s role to amplify their voices in society. Avoid sensationalism when reporting persons with disabilities,” said Abuyi.

The three-day training, under theme: “Amplifying voices of persons with disabilities for influencing decision making”, was organized CEPO in partnership with UJOSS with support from Light for the World.

More than 40 journalists are attending the training focused on journalistic and media gaps in reporting on disabilities as well ethics involved when reporting on disabilities among people in society.

Abuyi 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.

Jiji Stephen Mowa, a representative of Light for the World said media reports on persons with disabilities should be a collective responsibility.

“We believe the media plays a fundamental role in raising the voices of person living with disabilities in societies,” he explained.

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

“The training is intended to empower journalists to effectively and accurately amplify voices of persons with disabilities in society,” he said.

He added, “CEPO is optimistic that the journalists gathered here will acquire the knowledge and skills that will improve their reporting on inclusion of disabilities in the various media outlets they represent”.

South Sudan’s Interim Constitution contains a Bill of Rights, which seeks to respect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms.

An estimated 1.2 million people living with disabilities in South Sudan.

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