File photo of a journalist in Juba
By Richard Sultan
Journalists in South Sudan convened in Juba on Wednesday to train on media ethics as a way to develop the standard of reporting in the country.
The two days training is organized by the Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) with funding from UNESCO and supported by Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) and the National Media Authority.
It will also impart knowledge on media laws, freedom of expression and code of conduct.
“As journalists, you must be aware of the environment in which you operate to avoid a repeat of the Rwandan Genocide situation where the media played an important role in fueling it,” the country representative for United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Julius Banda told journalists at the event.
Banda added that journalists should use their freedom of speech to drive development by reporting more on public interest issues like climate change, health, water and education instead of focusing only on hard news.
On his part, the Director General of the Media Authority Sapana Abui urged the journalists to know and understand media laws which he emphasized are the best in the region.
“Knowing the media laws and code of conduct will help you to operate within the law and knowing your rights where necessary,” Abui said.
The UJOSS chairman Oyet Patrick also urged the journalists to take the training seriously and he encouraged female journalists to come on board to inspire others.
Most of the participants expresses their gratitude and say that this training is long overdue and it will go a long way in empowering them.