Journalists Training By World Bank On Financial Reporting Underway In Juba

A section of the journalists during the training covering how best the print and broadcast journalists can accurately report on transparency and accountability. [Peter Lokale Nakimangole]

The training in Juba is organised by the World Bank Institute (WBI) and the African Media Initiative in collaboration with the Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS) are guiding the ongoing training with an aim to keeping South Sudanese media informed in reporting financial matters in relation to transparency and accountability.

The training is to enable the journalists to engage leaders with the media and the public through reporting.

Under the theme ‘Following the Money’, the three-day intensive training commenced on Wednesday and is expected to conclude on 08 February.

It covers how best the print and broadcast journalists can accurately report on transparency, accountability and economy.

WBI’s Craig Hammer included practical examples on a ‘Parliamentary Strengthening program’ focusing on public spending and the role of public accounts committees, including opportunities for media to participate in public spending priorities and processes.

He brought out instances where each group among the participants would reflect on the proceedings and draft key findings, focusing mainly how public money, procurement and contracts are spent and accounted for in a transparent manner.

Craig stressed that the World Bank is responsible to develop the African Media by shaping skills toward better reporting system on economic matters.

The African Media Initiative’s Director of Programme, Ms. Roukaya Kasenally said the idea of partnership with the World Bank Institute becomes crucial in modelling African media through such series of trainings.

She said the training of the media is important because its performance or role, reflects a government‘s social and economic policy priorities and will always act as a watchdog.

She added that Media is one of essential tool which engage institutions to account for finances or assets apart from enlightening the public on how governments spend public money.

Ms. Kasenally said the training will create code of conducts among journalists or media practitioners and it gives necessary reporting skills and knowledge and more importantly approach to gaining access to information from officials or institutions. 
Officials said that the media is the most important policy instrument that drives every country country’s economic and social development agenda.

The media can play crucial role in enhancing transparency and communication by proving public access to information on government budgets and public spending.

The participants will carry out a brief survey to further contextualize their experience with economic journalism because where public money is spent effectively, it can significantly impact the daily lives of citizens.

Transparency and accountability in the allocation use of public funds are crucial for achievement of development goals.

Among outstanding South Sudanese journalists attending the ongoing training include Mr. Alfred Taban who offered to share his long journalistic experiences while in Khartoum and now based in Juba.

The African Media Initiative’s Executive Assistant, Ms. Noreen Wambui Nthiga elaborated that the African Media Initiative (AMI) is a pan-African programme that seeks to strengthen the continent’s private and independent media sector from an owner and operator perspective in order to promote democratic governance, social development and economic growth.

This is done through a set of strategic activities aimed at transforming the media and communications landscape on the continent.

AMI’s overall goal is to promote the development of pluralistic media as a necessary and critical ingredient of democratic governance, as well as economic and human development in Africa.

AMI approach to private and independent media development combines commitments to ethics, quality and public service with a conviction that economic sustainability is crucial to the sector’s independence and effectiveness.

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