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South Sudan urges journalists to report ethically on papal visit

The Minister of Information, Communication, Technology and Postal Services Michael Makuei Lueth has urged journalists to be ethical on their reporting during the papal visit.

“You the journalists are the fourth pillar of any government, and if you are a fourth pillar of any government then you need to portray the real picture of South Sudan,” Makuei said while addressing foreign and national journalists during the papal visit media briefing in Juba on Tuesday.

He said South Sudan is now at peace, citing the conducive environment ahead of the papal visit which is slated for Friday this week.

 “If South Sudan is not stabile, there would have been no need for Pope and his brothers to come to South Sudan,” said Makuei.

He warned journalists against stepping on toes of others in the name of expressing freedom of press.

“Don’t step on toes of others and say you are exercising your rights, no, if you step on my toes, you have interfered with my rights and as such it is important you keep away from such,” said Makuei.

He said that the security situation in the country has for long been exaggerated to tarnish the image of the government.

“You’re coming here is for you to prove as to whether all those reports which were being written about South Sudan are correct or not,” said Makuei in a veiled message for foreign journalists.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the South Sudan Media Authority, Elijah Alier Kuai corroborated Makuei by reminding journalists to commit to the principles of journalism while covering visit by Pope Francis and other eminent religious leaders. 

He said that freedom of expression is protected under article 24 of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011, as amended. 

Alier said that the by the government’s high-level organizing committee media  tasked the ministry of information in collaboration with the media authority, and national communication authority (NCA) to organize media orientation at Radisson Blu Hotel.

He said they will be coordinating media, communication, internet connectivity, and live broadcasting and transmission during the papal visit. 

Alier said they have so far accredited 69 media agencies globally from 32 countries to cover the papal visit.

The overall total of journalists accredited to cover the papal visit is 291 journalists.

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