MEDIA: Recommendations on Covering National Security

The Media, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the security fraternity and the stakeholders have deliberated on matters related to the media and security during a forum in Juba where they came to a consensus on recommendations to be adopted and implemented by the respective stakeholders.

The recommendations are as follows:

1. The security personnel shall mark and place visible signboards in places where taking of photos is restricted/prohibited;  

2. Security personnel shall, in the course of duty, disclose the specific security organ they work for and present their respective identification documents in any event/instance where they interact with journalists who are in the course of duty;

3. In the event that a media body conducts itself in a manner contrary to the professional standards and ethics expected of it, the security fraternity shall discuss the matter and issue a warning to the respective media body. The security fraternity can thereafter take further legal measures in the event that the media body fails to adhere to the aforementioned warning.

4. Journalists should report balanced information;

5. Media personnel should, in the course of duty, have visible tags identifying them as media personnel;

6. Journalists should own such events as this forum and use this as an avenue not only to gather news but also to actively participate and air out their concerns;

7. No violence should be used against journalists;

8. Journalists should take it upon themselves to promote the interests of South Sudan;

9. Journalists should come in time for events/occasions and/or press briefings in order to enable the security personnel to register their presence and grant them access to an event/occasion and/or press briefings for purposes of carrying out their duties and responsibilities as Journalists;

10. The respective security organs should make it part of their responsibility to sensitize their security personnel on the role of media and journalists in the society and further sensitize them on how to handle journalists that they may come across and/or interact with in the Journalist’s course of duty.

11. Security personnel should protect Journalists as the journalists’ carry out their duties;

12. In the event that any security personnel intends to arrest a journalist, the respective security personnel should first indentify himself/herself by producing his/her requisite security identification card before proceeding to arrest a journalist;

13. Conflict between media personnel and security personnel should be dealt with through dialogue;

14. Journalists should, in their course of duty, take it upon themselves to respect security personnel, be diplomatic and avoid using any offensive language when interacting/conversing with security personnel. The security personnel should on the other hand respond, interact and/or converse with journalists in a similar manner;

15. In the event that a journalist is arrested, the security personnel arresting the Journalist should avail an opportunity to the Journalist to inform his/her media house of such arrest;

16. The security fraternity should have a hotline in place through which journalists can contact the security organs incase of any arbitrary arrest and / or emergency;

17. The stakeholders should work cordially and in close cooperation to ensure that this initiative, that is the forum, is organized and conducted in all the states of South Sudan;

18. Every stakeholder should sensitize their personnel on the matters addressed in the forum and the recommendations resulting from the forum;

19. The Media should publish these recommendations for purposes of informing the public of the outcome of these deliberations;

20. The stakeholders should form a committee to spear head the implementation of these recommendations, monitor the outcome and further come up with solutions and/or mechanisms of achieving these recommendations. 

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