The South Sudanese media personnel have been urged to report responsibly and accountably so as to avoid conflicts and undermining its role in the society.
A daylong dialogue between media representatives and security authorities held at Hotel Torit, in the State capital of EES last Monday resolved that, members of the Fourth Estate should uphold professionalism and ethical standards while reporting.
The security sector representatives alongside politicians blamed and advised the media to always support and promote values and cultures of the South Sudanese society with an aim to shun agitation and propagation.
Brigadier General Malaak who was representing the South Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) cited the role of the media especially in the Rwanda genocide.
Among the resolutions passed and read by the leading facilitators, were prevention or limitation of slander and defamation arising from publications targeting individuals as well as the society as a whole.
The dialogue’s main objective was basically to enable the two parties to understand their co-existence.
Advisor to the Government of EES on security affairs, Mr. Suleiman Liling advised the media to maintain work ethics and asked the two sides to consistently coordinate. He added that for good performance to be realized, coordination is important in day-to-day chores.
Mr. Suleiman Liling urged media houses in print, electronic or broadcast to play a key role in these relations. He advised editors to critically look at raw materials before they publish for public consumption in order to avoid conflicts like the recent two the journalists who were arrested.
Although Brig. Gen. Malaak kept acknowledging that the media is a mirror in the country, the advisor assertively added that careful treatment of information to circumvent conflicts and disagreement between the media and security sector must be paid attention to.
Malaak signalled the two parties to put the interest on South Sudanese’s security as first priority while urging the constitutional post holders to bear in mind good governance in their day-to-day life.
The Information Minister, Nasike Allan Lochul told the media that they must exercise responsible reporting, “you must know your limit of expression when reporting.”
She said that the media would want to expose whatever information accessible and available regardless of the harm associated with publication but security authorities would prefer to delay or hold back the dissemination of such information pending analysis of the risks involved.
This justifies why the security officers like controlling the media due to the influence and fear it creates.
Among the attendees were the State’s heads of organized forces, Public Prosecutor, Director of Press in the State Secretariat General, media representatives from three radio stations of Emmanuel 89 fm, VOEES 97.5 fm and Radio Grace 90.5 fm.
The dialogue was co-supported by International Media Support (IMS) and the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA); and primarily facilitated by Association for Media in South Sudan (AMDISS) in conjunction with Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS)