Journalists in Rumbek, Lakes State on 04 November 2022. [Photo: Radio Tamazuj]

Rumbek journalists trained on constitution-making, conflict-sensitive reporting

Over 30 journalists in Rumbek of Lakes State concluded a three-day training on the constitution-making process, gender, conflict-sensitive reporting and safety of journalists on Friday last week.

Over 30 journalists in Rumbek of Lakes State concluded a three-day training on the constitution-making process, gender, conflict-sensitive reporting and safety of journalists on Friday last week.

The training was organized by the Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) with support from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the Rumbek Hill View Hotel.

The caretaker Lakes State information minister William Koji Kirjok speaking at the closing ceremony, said security personnel and journalists must work together.

“The national security personnel are not enemies to journalists. We are one people, and I also made it very clear as the government that we don’t work without security, and we don’t work without media,” he stated. “When you are working professionally, guided ethically, then there are things that you are supposed to do as a journalist. What guides you is the training of this kind, and you are supposed to be given a guideline and rules that guide you.” 

Majak Kuany Alier, UJOSS Secretary General, said Lakes state is among the nine states that benefited from the training the journalists’ body has conducted since the year began, adding that the media has a crucial role in promoting the rule of law.

 “As the journalists’ body, it is our mandate to build professionalism in the country. What we do is to sharpen journalists’ knowledge and skills so that they are able to practice their work ethically and accurately. We are also training journalists for them to be able to understand aspects of constitution-making since the young country is in the process of developing a permanent constitution,” Majak said.

Julius Banda, a UNESCO South Sudan Country Director, said the exercise is to prepare journalists for the upcoming general elections. 

“We are happy to be here as UNESCO supported by the United Nations Peace Fund (UNPF) the one that we are using for particular series of training on reporting and concerning also the constitutional making process. We are doing this because South Sudan is going through a transition phase of the constitution-making process as it journeys towards general elections,” he added. 

He said it is imperative as the media to prepare for the country’s transitions to remain impartial and objective. 

“We don’t want tribalists. As UNESCO, we defend the freedom of expression. We are not talking about those who use it for hate purposes like to divide people along tribal lines,” Banda stated. 

Julius urged the journalists to implement the training in their daily work.