By Ephraim Modi Duku Sokiri
The media regulatory body in South Sudan “Media Authority” has set a deadline for the accreditation of national journalists ending 30th June 2023.
According to the regulatory body, all journalists and other qualified media practitioners in South Sudan should be accredited to attest recognition of their work in accordance with the regulation on accreditation of journalists 2018 that has been ongoing since last year.
“Reference to the commencement of the Accreditation of bona fide national journalists in the Republic of South Sudan, the accreditation process has been ongoing effective from October 17, 2022,” The statement from media authority partly reads.
“Media Authority reminds professional journalists who have not yet been accredited to process their accreditations from Media Authority before June 30 2023,” it stressed
The statement also stated that the process is only granted to individual qualified journalists upon presentation of professional certificates, a recommendation letter duly issued by the media agency for which he/she operates and fill application form which is available at the premises of the media authority.
Much less accurate statistics, of crimes against journalists in South Sudan, which ranks 140th out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders in 2016.
In 2015, the Union of Journalists of South Sudan counted 40 instances of all types of unjustifiable arrests, detentions and harassment, as well as the killing of seven reporters.
The Community Empowerment for Progress Organization, a civil society organization that also tracks such abuses, has documented 23 incidents of harassment or violence against journalists so far this year. These numbers, however, fail to scratch the surface.