Minister Vows To Improve Relations With Media

South Sudan Information and Broadcasting Minister, Michael Makuei Lueth. [Gurtong]

The Minister called the media agencies to report to the Ministry any cases of harassment, a move that appears to be a measure aimed at bridging gap between the media and government.

“Whenever you are arrested it is your duty to report to the ministry,” Makuei told the agencies in Juba. “Once your colleague is arrested bring us an official report,” he added.

However, he said it should be cases related to the media profession but not individual cases to be reported.

Makuei who took office this month as the South Sudan’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting sent waves of fears to the media fraternity when he said journalists must conform to the law and stressed his calls on responsible reporting.

He was been criticized by some of the media activists over some of his statements.

Activists feared relations between the government and media will be a bizarre.

South Sudan dropped 13 places in the Reporters Without Borders 2013 World Press Freedom Index – to 124th out of 179 countries ranked – due to the heavy handedness by the security forces in dealing with journalists, and after the murder of Isaiah Abraham, a well-known political commentator.

The national parliament recently passed the media laws and it is expected that the new laws will improve conditions for journalists in the new nation once signed by the president.

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