As a follow up to my last post regarding the warning to journalists not to interview opposition supporters, the spokesperson for President Kiir, Ateny Wek Ateny, stated yesterday that no journalist has ever been “arrested” or “questioned” in South Sudan. Oh, dear heavens, no. Not in South Sudan!
No, they’ve merely brought in a journalist or two from time to time to give them “advice.”
“[S]ome journalists are brought in to National Security offices “to receive an advice because some journalists are very irresponsible and they write very irresponsibly.” “
I can’t help but feel like this is the terrible first swing-and-miss of the new US-based PR firm that South Sudan hired to clean up the country’s image and improve foreign relations.
How do we spin restriction of free press into something positive? I know! They’re not suppressing journalists, they’re just advising them!
There is a serious conversation to be had about responsible journalism, particularly in times of rebellion and crisis, but this, my friends, is not it.