DOWNLOAD APP: Download JUBAECHO mobile app now available on play store & coming soon to app store.
Elijah Alier Kuai

“We cannot rest on our achievements, we must continue” to defend the independence of media

No journalists in prison in South Sudan as the Country commemorates World Press Freedom Day under the theme “A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the Face of the Environmental Crisis.” This day is not just about celebrating the freedom of the press; it’s about recognizing the crucial role journalists play in addressing the most pressing issue of our time – climate change and environmental degradation.

Elijah Alier Kuai, Managing Director Media Authority said that the Media Authority remain committed to promoting a conducive media regulatory environment that protects freedom of expression and the independence of the media. We will continue to uphold the principles of the Constitution and work tirelessly to support journalists in their vital work.

“In South Sudan, we are ‘witnessing the devastating consequences of our changing environment. Floods and droughts have displaced thousands of people. destroyed livelihoods, and put immense pressure on our natural resources. As we mark World Press Freedom Day, let us also acknowledge the vital role of a free and independent press in bringing these issues to light and demand action from our leaders. We are happy to inform this gathering, as of today, no journalists are in prison in South Sudan. This is a testament to the dedication of our media stakeholders in protecting the rights of journalists and ensuring the free flow of information. However, we cannot rest on our achievements. We must continue to defend the independence of our media and pay tribute to the courageous journalists who have lost their lives in the pursuit of truth.

He added that the future must also address the challenges facing our journalists. Working conditions and environments must be improved to support those who risk so much to keep us informed. This is especially crucial as journalists play a vital role in shaping public understanding and influencing policy decisions on environmental issues, economic development, and political landscapes in South Sudan. Improving freedom of expression is a shared responsibility. Media stakeholders, government officials, and citizens must all work together to create an Environment where diverse voices can be heard and where the free exchange of ideas is protected. This is essential for the safety and protection of journalists and for the healthy functioning of our democracy.

“As we navigate the challenges of the environmental crisis, we must also combat the spread of hate speech and incitement to violence. Misinformation and disinformation threaten to undermine public trust in our institutions and in each other. We must all be vigilant and responsible in sharing accurate information and promoting critical thinking. As we approach the upcoming elections in December, let us remember the vital role of a free press in informing citizens and holding leaders accountable. Journalists play a crucial role in educating the public about their rights and responsibilities and in ensuring that the electoral process is transparent, free and fair.

Let us also recognize the importance of ethical journalism in maintaining the public’s trust. Independent journalists are crucial actors in helping society separate facts from fiction and make informed decisions. We must all strive to uphold the highest standards of professionalism and integrity in our work.

Today, we celebrate the progress we have made in growing the media landscape in South Sudan. With 280 media entities now officially licensed to operate, we are creating a more diverse and vibrant media environment. However, we also recognize the challenges posed by economic hardship.

To this end, we call on all stakeholders — from the government, private sector and civil society — to support the media in its vital mission. We must invest in the well-being of journalists, ensuring they have the resources and protections they need to do their job effectively and safely. We must also work to create a media landscape that is diverse, inclusive, and representative of the voices and perspectives of all our people.

On this World Press Freedom Day, let us renew our commitment to the fundamental principles of a free and independent press. Let us pledge to defend the rights of journalists, improve working conditions, combat misinformation, and ensure the safety and protection of those who risk so much to keep us informed. together , let us create a press that is a force for good, a press that stands up for the planet, and a press that gives hope to the people,s of South Sudan.

Facebook Comments Box