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South Sudanese journalists urged to uphold balanced reporting without bias

South Sudanese journalists have been urged by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) “to report news truthfully, accurately and fairly.”

Addressing media workers at the closing ceremony of a one month training programme in journalism and radio production in Bor, in Jonglei in central South Sudan, the UNMISS Head of Field Office in the region, Deborah Schein added that journalism was a powerful tool.

“In your reporting, be factual, report responsibly and do not use inflammatory language and do not instigate hate, prejudice and violence in reporting the news,” she said.

The programme was supported by Viable Support to Transition and Stability (VISTA), a USAID funded programme in South Sudan. Participants were selected from media houses in the area and neighbouring states. UNMISS helped transport journalists from afar travel to Bor.

The Director of Radio Jonglei, Malek Gutnyin, thanked VISTAS and USAID for their support in building the capacity of local journalists.

State Minister of Health Dr. Angok Kuol appealed to journalists to be responsible in their reporting and respect the Constitution and national laws adding that the media have a big role to play in nation building and promoting peace in South Sudan.

“You have a bigger task to help people get educated, to help build this nation. Let us not continue stereotyping each other or use hate speech.”

VISTAS Jonglei Regional Programme Manager, Lawrence Peter says the goal of VISTAS is to mitigate conflicts at the community and grassroots level so that political conflicts at the national level do not reach local communities.