22 Sep 2019

 

Difference Between Freedom Of the Press And Freedom of Expression

"If, however, the Hon Speaker wanted to ban the media or journalists from interviewing MPS, that would be an issue for Freedom of the Press, something the Media Authority would have the right to address."

By Jiel Akol

There is in circulation on social media an "official" document supposedly from South Sudan Media Authority (SSMA) in defence of Freedom of the Press and journalists’ right to interview anyone on behalf of their readers/listeners/viewers, without being impeded by any one, official or otherwise. And I applaud that, though there is no name attached to the stamp of the document.

Discussants on social media have linked this document from SSMA to the recent directives from the Speaker of the National Assembly to the MPs not to speak to the press/journalists; but it is not clear if he meant to ban them from speaking to the press in their own capacity as MPS or just not on behalf of the House, which the Speaker believes he is the authority to speak on behalf of the House.

That, really, has nothing to do with Freedom of the Press but Freedom of Expression for the MPs, a Human Rights, not a media, issue.

If, however, the Hon Speaker wanted to ban the media or journalists from interviewing MPS, that would be an issue for Freedom of the Press, something the Media Authority would have the right to address.

 

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