Most journalists in South Sudan go through myriad of challenges ranging from the censorship to lack of information.
The Secretary-General of the government, Abdon Agau, warned the media against being over-optimistic for free media operations like it is in Western countries, arguing South Sudan is still healing from the wounds of conflict.
Addressing the media during the Annual Media Sustainability Forum and Media Leadership Network in Juba on Thursday, Agau said as journalists continue to face challenges in South Sudan, they must also understand the political situation in the country.
“Even in the presence of law, media should not expect to operate like one of the media houses in the Western world. It is not the same situation you would wish in South Sudan. It will take time; it will not change overnight,” Agua said.
He added, “While we continue to hope for the best, we must not lose sight that our country is still unique because we are still recovering from the past conflicts. As we talk about media freedom, and what the law says about them. We must keep this political situation in mind, particularly since political circumstances are not ideal.”
He said the difficulties journalists may face, such as the dearth in access to information are occasioned by the nature of the political situation and what the law says about the media in South Sudan.
“The challenges you may face as a journalist, have this explanation. It is one of these difficulties that you face which includes, the political situation in the country. The minister can Information cannot just make an announcement and say, there you are, have all the freedom you would wish to have, it wouldn’t be easy,” he argued.
During the event, Moyiga Nduru who is the commissioner of the Access to Information Commission, said there are procedural ways of getting information whenever journalists reach their door. However, he added that some pieces of information are considered classified and not available for public consumption.
Most journalists in South Sudan go through myriad of challenges ranging from the censorship to evasive government officials who are normally unresponsive when called upon to give information.