Newsletter

AMDISS Newsletter 2nd Issue, 26th March 2020

Welcome to AMDISS Newsletter
The purpose of this newsletter is to give some insights on the current media environment in South Sudan to keep our citizens, media actors, stakeholders, and partners informed, engaged and active in the development in the sector. In this newsletter you will find both positive and negative cases for media development. These include media incidences and advocacy cases that, calls for action and more.  The newsletter will be published bi-weekly.
Do you have tips or stories you want to share in this newsletter? Email us on info@amdiss.org

#StorytellingTime
AMDISS in events
                         

AMDISS on Outreach Media Training in Bor

Journalists attend outreach media training in Bor-South Sudan 17th March 2020: Photo by AMDISS.

                     

By Tapeng Michael Ohure|AMDISS

On March 17th 2020, the Media Development Institute (MDI) an academic training school for journalism and media practice run by Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS) extended its outreach program to Bor Jonglei State.
The training brought together 20 practicing journalists, in which 5 of whom are women. They come from three different radio stations in Jonglei State. These include: Radio Jonglei, Voice of Reconciliation and Radio Peace. It also included freelance journalists.

The training was on Safety and Protection of Journalists and other Media Practitioners. It also covers Trauma Healing as one of the areas of discussion to provide psych-social support and encouragement to journalist in the face of their work.

Speaking during the event, AMDISS Executive Director, Michael Duku told participants and stakeholders at the event that, the modules used for training journalists in Bor is the same used in training MDI students in Juba.
“This training is curved out of the modules taught at MDI in Juba. It will equip South Sudan journalists working in diverse media with skills and knowledge to sustain professional standards during conflict and other coverage and to produce professional reports while paying attention to their safety and protection.” He added. He further said that, the sustainable development Goals (SDG16) also require all countries to demonstrate progress in ensuring public access to information and protecting fundamental freedoms, which include the right to freedom of expression and safety of journalists.

Duku added that, issues to do with safety and protection of journalists require a multi-stakeholder approach involving all the stakeholders at the global, regional, national as well as at state level for the case of South Sudan.

Speaking during the same occasion, Jonglei State government Secretary General, Mr. Mabior Atem said in the opening session that, it is the sole responsibility of the government to protect the people. “Indeed, it is the responsibility of government to protect the people, but first safety is a personal responsibility. Journalists got a task to identify the environment before getting into it to avoid being in danger.” He stressed. He further said, the part of training on trauma healing is like a medicine for journalists and thanked AMDISS for providing such opportunity.

 

Meanwhile the Director General of the State Ministry of Information, Mr. Awoul Dau reiterated the importance of code of ethics and encouraged journalists to stick to the rules so that dangers are minimized.
The training was organized with support from USAID through Internews under the theme “Strengthening Free and Independent Media in South Sudan (i-STREAM),” project that is partly implemented by sub-grantees such as AMDISS.

#Media Landscape highlights in South Sudan

16th March 2020
Media Network: Agamlong Daily Newspaper


Case Details

On Monday 16th March 2020, Agamlong Daily Newspaper was imposed to published with one blank page on the Newspaper by security agents at the printing press. It remains unclear why security agents remove some contents on the Newspaper.

16th March 2020
Media Network: Good News Radio Rumbek

                            Case Details

On Monday 16th 2020, the South Sudan People Defence Forces (SSPDF) prevented journalists of Good News Radio of Rumbek Diocese from entering the hospital where wounded people were. The journalists were trying to interview those wounded in series of communal violence in Lake State, only to be denied access to the hospital. According to the Director for Good News Radio, Marial Wen Deng, they received information from the Rumbek police spokesperson Captain Elijah Mabor Makuac the same Monday morning that SSPDF soldiers in Rumbek were not happy with Good News Radio for reporting about them. Marial said, they aired out content on Wednesday 11th March 2020 about the arrest of SSPDF soldier suspected of taking a motorcycle at gunpoint from a civilian over the weekend in Lake State. This led them to be stopped from entering the hospital on Monday 16th March 2020 in Rumbek by the soldiers.

10th March 2020
Dismissal of journalist Denis Logonyi

Media Network: Agamlong Daily Newspaper

Case Details

On Tuesday 10th March 2020Denis Logonyi was dismissed by AGAMLONG Daily Newspaper management after refusing to put an inciting headline about the disputed Papal appointment of the new Arch Bishop of Juba Diocese. Speaking to AMDISS via a WhatsApp line, Denis said, he had opposed putting the headline which appeared on Wednesday 11th March 2020 publication as ‘’ Bishop Lukudu enflames Bari community and rejects papal appointment of Bishop Ameyu.’’Denis was working as a reporter and designer for AGAMLONG daily Newspaper. He said he was dragged to the Customs Market nearby police station by the Management of the newspaper for refusing to put such an inciting headline. . ‘’As a journalist, my role is not to incite tribal hatred, but to reduce ethnicity through good and responsible journalism.’’ He stressed.
According to the management of the Agamlong Newspaper, Logonyi failed to abide by the house style of the paper, as a result, lost his job the same day. Reacting to the allegations, Logonyi said he had proposed a different headline, but the management said Bari community should surface in the front page.
AMDISS warns all members of the media to avoid inciting communities of South Sudan by sticking to the journalism code of ethics.

7th March, Saturday 2020
Media Authority denies violation of press freedom
Media Network: South Sudan Media Authority

Elijah Alier, Managing Director – Media Authority speaks during Press Freedom Day in May 2019 in Juba – Photo by Joakino Francis/Eye Radio
                                                     
                                                                       Case Details

On Saturday, March 7th 2020, the Media Authority in South Sudan rejected a report by the UN Human Rights Commission that claimed the government has continued to deny citizens freedom of expression according to media reports.
In the Commission’s report, continued denial of information, freedom of expression gross violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes, including sexual and gender-based violence and ethnic violence continue to persist in South Sudan. The report also highlighted continued harassment, arrests and detention of journalists in the country without trial citing the arrest of more than three journalists including the editor in chief of Alwatan Arabic daily newspaper, Michael Christopher. 

According to Elijah Alier, the Managing Director of the Media Authority in South Sudan, the report was based on illusive assumptions in some sections and misinterpretation of the provisions in the laws. He said that the commission didn’t consult them and hence it lacks credible sources.
 “The report did not meet the required evidentiary standards and expertise as expected in the applicable laws. It was influenced by one-sided sources without cross-checking with the other parties. The commission’s report lack reliability of sources, the validity of information gathered, concrete evidence, consultation which did not give chance for the right of reply to the identified entities.” Alier emphasized.
rg/media-regulator-denies-violation-of-press-freedom-opinion/

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5th Thursday, 2020
Verbal attack on Eye Radio by Members of Parliament MPs
Media Network: Eye Radio
Case Details

On Thursday 5th March 2020, Members of Parliament MPs verbally attacked Eye Radio during a press conference in the Parliament. The complaint came after Eye Radio reported about the $25000 that the MPs received as their Health Insurance in late February. In a telephone interview with AMDISS, the Eye Radio news Director, Koang Pal Chang, confirmed that, Eye Radio was verbally accused by MPs in the parliament for reporting extensively about the $25000 each MP received as their Health Insurance money last month. Koang added that, the MPs said, Eye Radio is being used by civil society organizations to report against them.
AMDISS urges all arms of the government to respect freedom of the press and expression.
The press conference was held by the MPs in the parliament to justify their position on the $25000 they received, claiming it was their constitutional right to receive such an amount as their Health Insurance

#AMDISS’ Past events

UK High Level Delegation visit AMDISS

Visiting UK journalists posed for group photo with South Sudan Journalists after discussion, Tuesday, 3rd, March 2020. Photo credit: Tapeng Michael Ohure|AMDISS

By Tapeng Michael Ohure|AMDISS

On Tuesday March 3, the UK Embassy High Level Visiting Delegation visited AMDISS Center and discussed challenges in the media industry in South Sudan. In the discussion that lasted for nearly one and a half hours, the UK visiting award winning journalists urged South Sudan journalists to stick to the principles of accuracy while reporting news stories. The remarks were made during a Round-table meeting organized at AMDISS premises between UK visiting Journalists and South Sudan journalists. Over 30 South Sudanese journalists including media managers attended the event and shared their experiences as journalists in the country. Most journalists who spoke at the event narrated how frustrating the profession is in the country with poor payment and called on UK government to support media industry in South Sudan.
Speaking during the event, Mrs. Christina Lamb, an international award winning journalist who is now 33 years as a journalist in the UK, advised South Sudan journalists not to trust every information they get from other sources. ‘’You have to really be very careful to get accurate information to avoid lending yourselves in trouble with the authorities. Work sensibly especially when covering stories in conflict zones.’’ She stressed.
She added that, South Sudan journalists should tell stories that build bridges between them and the authorities and across the society.
Meanwhile, the AMDISS’ Secretary, Mrs. Josephine Achiro hailed the UK Embassy in Juba and requested it to use their influence to talk to South Sudan Government to allow freedom of expression and the press in the country.

The meeting was geared towards gauging the current Media Landscape in South Sudan and the challenges the country’s journalists have, given the political, social and economic status of the country.

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