By Tapeng Michael Ohure
The Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) has trained 31 journalists in Juba on “Media Laws and Code of Conduct” with funds from UNESCO. The two-day capacity building training which started on August 18th and ended on August 19th is meant to refresh and improve the capacity of journalists in the country.
Speaking during the opening of the workshop in Juba, UJOSS President Mr. Patrick Oyet Charles hailed UNESCO for funding the training.
“We are very grateful to UNESCO for availing us of these funds to be able to conduct this training and more to come. This is our first major activity as the Union of Journalists of South Sudan, as a new team that has been elected in May this year. We are also very grateful to the Media Authority of South Sudan and CEPO for their support to the union,” UJOSS President Patrick Oyet said.
Oyet further assured journalists that the union will continue to conduct other several trainings across South Sudan to minimize the risks of ethical issues in reporting.
“We think that these trainings are very important, and we think that we should move as well from Juba to other states, and we are very grateful again to UNESCO because after here (Juba) our next destination is to do training in Rumbek. And as we get more support, we will be able to move to other states to conduct training on code of conduct and media laws,” he said.
UJOSS President Patrick Oyet Charles says his leadership shall continue to build more partnership with UNESCO, South Sudan’s Media Authority and CEPO to ensure a conducive environment for all journalists.
Speaking during the same workshop, Mr. Sapan Abuyi, Director General for information and media compliance at the South Sudan’s Media Authority urged journalists to improve the media landscape by avoiding negative reporting against the country (South Sudan) to prevent them from being arrested.
“Improve the media landscape in our country, you see this year’s Press freedom index, we (South Sudan) jumped from 138 to 139 instead of improving simply because of issues that happened within our country in regards to freedom of expression and freedom of the media, ” he stated.
UNESCO Country representative in South Sudan Mr. Julius Banda said UNESCO is ready to partner with all relevant stakeholders in South Sudan to promote freedom of expression and press freedom.
“UNESCO is very pleased to partner with the government and other stakeholders to increase the capacities of journalists and promote freedom of expression, press freedom and access to information. And we look forward to seeing the results of this training workshop,” UNESCO Country representative Julius Banda said.
This is the first training UJOSS new leadership has conducted since they were elected in May this year. The Union of Journalists of South Sudan says it is planning to conduct similar training in other states in the country.
Logonyi Denis Wani, a journalist from Sama FM in Juba says he gained a lot from the two-day training but urges UJOSS to continue doing more similar training for journalists.
“I am very glad for the two-day training that we have, but I feel that the two-day training was not enough. We ask UJOSS to keep doing more training ahead. I can say the training has been very great, we learned a lot in regards to the media laws,” participant Denis Logonyi Wani expressed.