South Sudan media guru says journalists must report bad conducts in parliament

By Ruot George and Tapeng Michael Ohure

South Sudanese leaders including Members of Parliament must face the wrath of the media for portraying conducts which counter their roles of being exemplary in society, Prof. Chaplain Kara, the Deputy Dean of the School of Journalism and Communication Studies at the University of Juba said.

Prof. Kara was addressing journalists in the capital Juba at a two days’ workshop on constitution making and parliamentary reporting.

“Be brave and report about those members of parliament who sleep during deliberations because their constituencies did not send them to sleep but to fight for their constituency’s interests,” Prof. Kara said.

“There is nothing wrong a journalist capturing such situation.”

The professor noted that MPS even fail in simple things like dressing well when in the house.

“Those MPs who go there not properly dressed are breaking the laws, he/she is breaking the conduct of the guidelines” Prof. Kara said.

“When you go with broken shoes, you have broken the code, it means you don’t know your work. From not knowing your work, you don’t also know how to represent your constituency,” he said.

The training, on Tuesday and Wednesday was organized by the Union of Journalists of South Sudan with support from UNMISS, UNESCO and UNDP.

It attracted about 40 journalists from various media houses.

“This capacity building will be continuous, it will not be a one-day thing. One of our expectations is that the same people should continue to attend this parliamentary reporting training so that their capacity is built,” the President of the Union of journalists, Patrick Oyet Charles told participants.

The Director General of South Sudan Media Authority, Sapana Abuyi urged journalists to be conflict sensitive when reporting news and encourage peace in South Sudan.

 “Conflict sensitive reporting should be encouraged to create conducive atmosphere,” Abuyi said.

“In this era, it is important for the media to filter all news to ensure accuracy,” he said.

Tap Pant, UNESCO Head of Education Unit called on the government of South Sudan to respect the freedom of expression and create a conducive environment for journalists.

“I want to call on the government of South Sudan to keep the Articles 24, 32 as a cornerstone for development in South Sudan,” he said.

The UNDP Representative, Andrew Suruma, meanwhile said the training on constitution making and parliamentary reporting has been very timely.

“This workshop is timely and important because it comes at the time of the formation of parliament and the constitutional making process,” Suruma told participants.

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