South Sudan Editors Agree On Dialogue With Information Ministry

Alfred Taban (second right) speaking to the press after the editors' meeting on Monday at AMDISS. [Francis Apiliga Lagu]

A team of five editors led by Alfred Taban of Juba Monitor was sent to meet the minister of Information Michael Makuei Lueth over the matter.

“We have decided to seek dialogue with the Minister of Information and see what comes out of it,” Taban told the press after the Monday Editors’ Meeting at Association of Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS).

The move follows the issuance of an order directing all journalists in the country to personally register with the ministry in order to ply their trade.

A deadline of 28th November had been put but most media houses didn’t comply, saying there is no law supporting the order which also calls for résumés (CVs) of journalists.

As the registration deadline expired last Thursday, over the weekend, two journalists of Citizen Television were arrested for not having the approval card from the ministry of Information.

Although some editors suggested boycotting all government functions beginning from the Investment Forum starting on Wednesday this week, they later agreed to seek dialogue with the ministry and report the matter to the Speaker of Parliament as well as the Justice Minister.

Much as the editors agree there should be regulation, they said it is the work of the yet to be formed Media Authority of South Sudan.

“The registration by the ministry is not appropriate and the work of journalists should be organised by the Media Authority of South Sudan which has not yet been formed because the laws concerning it is not yet passed,” Taban explained.

“We should tell the ministry that the idea of registering journalists should wait until there is the Media Authority.”

The editors’ meeting was attended by Nhial Bol, Victor Keri Wani, (both citizen), Alfred Taban (Juba Monitor), Stephen Omiri (Eye Radio) and others from Gurtong, Almasir, Catholic Radio Network, South Sudan Today and also the Chairman of the Union of the Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) Oliver Modi.

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