The Office of the President has come up with new protocol that will require each and every media house in Juba to assign two journalists to the presidential palace.
The journalists will be specialized in covering the activities in the office and other events that involve President Salva Kiir.
The Press Secretary in the office of the president revealed the move in her meeting with the heads of media houses on Thursday at the general administration office, commonly known as J1.
“[It’s] to make everything easy because there is so much complex in regard to that [covering presidential activities or events]. [journalists complain] ‘Oh we don’t have access.’ It’s not every body that will have access,” Lily Adhieu said.
“So, assign us those two people so that when there is a visiting head of state, one can go to the airport and one can come to the state house.”
The two journalists that will be assigned to the state house by the media outlet, will undergo screening processes that are yet to be publicized.
Once the journalists are cleared to be attached to the presidential palace, they will be accredited by the office of the president and will be the only ones to do coverage on president’s activities.
“In a very rare circumstances where the two people will not be there at a given time,…we cannot pick any other person because the two went through a process for them to have access,” Adhieu explained.
For his part, Oyet Patrick, president of the Union of Journalists of South Sudan, welcome the move, saying it is a good gesture from the office of the president in regard to access to information.
“Our work as journalists is normally to give information to the public and this is an initiative by the press secretary to make sure that media houses and journalists have access to the office of the president and to have timely information. So this is very good for us as journalists,” Said Oyet.
Since president Kiir got into power in 2005, he has never been interviewed exclusively by any South Sudanese journalist.
However, with the new protocol, Kiir’s spokesperson assured the media houses that she will be giving access to journalists to interview the president.