Association for media development in South Sudan Sunday evening at Juba’s Freedom Hall welcomed The Juba Telegraph Daily News Paper into the field congratulating the management for the establishment of the Media house in the country.
The new Media house launch was under the theme ‘’Freedom of Expression is not a Destruction’’
‘’You have come at the right time because you waited until the media bills were signed into law then you came,’’ the Association treasurer Alfred Taban also editor in chief of the Juba Monitor daily news paper told The Juba Telegraph management. That means you are very good in timing,’’ ‘’so I hope you will always be right in your timing. We the rest, we came too early and we suffered for it but you came at the right time and I hope you will not suffer for it,’’ he said.
Taban said On behalf of AMDISS, ‘’I would say that The Juba Telegraph has done a wonderful thing because it has improved the diversity of the media that the Association for Media Development has been calling for in the Country’’.
He added: ‘’ diversity not only in Board of Directors, the choice of Journalist but also the choice of ideas and this is what we have been calling for in AMDISS that the Media must be diversified and this is very good, Congratulations for that’’.
The veteran Journalist in the country decried the problem of communities’ link with the government stressing that South Sudanese are divorced from the government top leadership describing it to be one big problem causing all the public to be discussing government related mishaps like corruption.
He called on the new Print media house to reflect issues affecting the South Sudanese communities pointing out that the work of the Media houses are being hindered by the behaviors of the government.
‘’So when I came back from England it was very difficult for me to get a job and I thought I should not encourage nepotism by asking my Uncles, Paternal and maternal uncles for a Job when in fact I am qualified to work anywhere in the world’’, South Sudan’s presidential press secretary Ateny Wek Ateng also one of the believed father of The Juba Telegraph said during the launch of the news Paper. So I thought I wanted to be a stake holder, but what do I do so that the South Sudanese recognizes the fact that I am a stake holder.
Ateny said with the help of Nhial Bol Aken (the Editor in chief of Juba’s The Citizen daily News paper) he came and established a column called ‘’ beating the drum of truth’’.
‘’With today’s team ‘’ Freedom of Expression is not destruction’’ I was not meaning to destroy any body but I had wanted space to be a stake holder in this country,’’ he said. So, how do I get it? How do I become stake holder? Do I have to go and knock people’s doors so that they see me? Or do I have to start standing in the street so that I start to be a beggar?’’ The press secretary asked.
Ateny added that he decided to write choosing the area of criticism criticizing anyone he sees doing something wrong warning that criticism should be done constructively that is why the team is freedom of expression is not destruction.
The former columnist writing his column ‘’beating the drum of truth’’ while with the Citizens News paper that earned him the current positions of South Sudan’s presidential spoke person said he will be back to writing in The Juba Telegraph with new column ‘’SEROIUS OBSERVATION’’ alongside his government work .
He said when he was writing his column mentioning wrong doings of other institutions the persons concerned in those intuitions take things to be personal adding that he had to take that and kept writing stressing that he believed freedom of expression is not given but taken by writers like himself.
‘’I would like to tell you the background of The Juba Telegraph because many questions are lingering there and they cannot find answers until I volunteer to give some answers. If I do not volunteer to give some answers you will be there to just guess and your guess will arrive at regrettable conclusion. Sometimes if you leave anything in South Sudan to be guessed, people will guess and guess and guess until there is no end to the gushing,’’ Ateny said.
He said the idea of forming a news paper was conceived when he was still writing the column with Nhial Bol Aken’s News paper.
‘’ I thought I should have my own news paper because I don’t want if I get to the government like now I am the press secretary of the president I don’t want to be seen as if, if I leave the office of the president then I will be a useless person not doing anything,’’ the press secretary said , ’’ I had wanted a place always to return to when the government that has given me an opportunity to do something at this particular time when it comes to the point that they ask me please you go back to where you belong then I go to where I belong and I will not take animosity against those who have appointed me because taking animosity have destroyed this country and that is why there is war now, So if I was to stay without forming a news paper nobody would have doubt that I can also have the vision that would one day allow me to come up with an idea of this kind.’’
The Juba Telegraph comes into operations following harsh environment for both private local and international media houses and journalist operations in the country though the country’s Media bills are said to have been signed in to law by the president and expected to change the environment. Nearly a week to the launch of The Juba Telegraph, Michael Makuei Lueth South Sudan’s government spokes person warned Journalist at meeting to report as nationalist and put their country first.