UJOSS Joins Federation Of African Journalists: Official

Journalist covering an event in Torit. South Sudan dropped 13 places in the Reporters Without Borders 2013 World Press Freedom Index – to 124th out of 179 countries ranked. [Gurtong | File]

This achievement commenced on September 28, 2013 during the FAJ steering Committee meeting in Abuga – Nigeria where the South Sudan Union was recognised and accepted as members of FAJ.

The meeting was chaired by FAJ President Mohammed Garba.

According to the Press Release issued yesterday and signed by the UJOSS Chairperson, Mr. Oliver Modi Philip, the membership of UJOSS in FAJ is one of the achievements that contribute towards establishing a free and independent media that is professional and responsible.

He said that UJOSS will respond to abide by the rules and regulations of FAJ and together with other members work to develop the media in Africa in order to meet the international standards.

FAJ plays a big role in Africa by addressing issues that affect the Africa media and the journalists.

It responds to individual journalists cases through the governments of member countries and is also a strong media body that influences decisions for effective media development and fights for safety of journalists in Africa.

UJOSS is focusing on the safety of Journalists in South Sudan with a vision to create an independent, ethical union which protects the welfare of journalists and promotes press freedom, access to information, human rights, good governance and the development of the media.

UJOSS was established in 2004 and registered by the government in 2008 and is currently operating in the 10 States through their State Sub-Committee Offices and Media Observatories Committees.

In collaboration with other media organizations such as the Association of Media Development of South Sudan (AMDISS), UJOSS conducted seven dialogues in seven states between journalists and security to avoid differences between the two sectors on the process of doing each other’s work in the Country.

UJOSS by verse of its focus become a focal point in the implementation of the UN action plan 2013.

The Union has several activities including: capacity building of journalists through informal education by provision of short training in areas of journalists’ ethics, conflict sensitive journalism, democracy, peace journalism; draft and make a continue lobbing and follow-up of the media bills; monitors journalists activities and record their incidents on process the process of doing journalism work; lobby the International Media Partners to support the growing media.

Speaking to Gurtong this morning via phone, the UJOSS’ Chair, wholeheartedly welcomed the move by the FAJ as he pledges to work in collaboration with security officials to protecting Journalists in South Sudan.

He said the FAJ new executive members accepted and endorsed the application of the UJOSS together with that of Lesotho.

He disclosed that union of Journalists for Uganda and Kenya respectively had their memberships reinstated.

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 in December 2012.

The national parliament has 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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