JUBA – South Sudan Media Authority, the government agency tasked to oversee the work of the media, has called on the government to make sustained efforts to promote a safe and enabling environment for journalists to perform their work freely.
Elijah Alier Kuai, Managing Director of Media Authority, says continued attacks on journalists and media personel have destructive effects on the dissemination of information and helpful debate in a democratic space.
“The Authority urges the government and media stakeholders to continue exerting more efforts to create and maintain conducive environment essential for peace, good governance and keeping journalists safe,” Alier said during the commemoration of International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Committed against Journalists in Juba on Tuesday.
Alier said the authority will promote freedom of expression in a bid to achieve independent pluralistic media in the public interest.
“The Media Authority has a duty to ensure the media entities function ethically in accordance with laws and to respect the culture and norms of the communities,” Alier said.
He said the incidences of murder, harassment, intimidation, and arbitrary detention of journalists have significantly reduced in the few months.
“As we commemorate the day to end impunity for crimes against journalists, there are no journalists in any prison in South Sudan today. Some of the perpetrators of crimes committed against civilians and journalists are being prosecuted in accordance with the laws of South Sudan,” he said.
He said the body has mitigated over 130 media complaints and cases of breach and violation of media laws in the country.
“The Media Authority hereby encourages media houses to take full responsibility to ensure that unethical NGOs programs with potential harm to future of children are properly subjected to media houses’ independent editorial policies while observing the code of conduct for the practice of journalism,” he said.