Media and security meet in Aweil

14 Aug 2013

Media and security meet in Aweil

13 August 2013 - Seeking to improve working relations between media and security personnel in Northern Bahr El-Ghazal State, a two-day forum ended today in the state capital Aweil.

Journalists from different media houses, representatives of the ministry of information, police, security agencies, military and other government officials attended the event, which was organized by the Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS), Norwegian People's Aid, Open Society Foundation and the Association for Media Development in South Sudan.

Participants discussed existing relations between the two groups and what could be done to improve them.

UJOSS Chairperson Oliver Modi Philip said lack of proper qualifications and experiences were some of the factors leading to confrontations between the two groups.

"There is a serious need to educate the media and security sector (in order to enhance) understanding of each other's roles," said Mr. Philip.

An UNMISS Human Rights team made a presentation on the role of media in promoting and protecting human rights.

Speaking at the opening of the forum on 12 August, Acting State Minister for Information Ernest Mangok Mangok stressed the need for media and government organs to work in harmony for the people's benefit.

"Media is a vital sector in any country," he said. "If journalistic ethics and ethos are practiced well, then they help the people they are serving."

Mr. Mangok said journalists in South Sudan tended to focus on more negative reports than positive, even though the two were equally newsworthy.