In the launching of the Media Incident Reporting Network (MIRN) by the Union of Journalists of South Sudan on Thursday this week, the program coordinator for South Sudan Human Rights Defenders Network said incident reporting is the only way forward for evidenced based strategy.
The Media Incident Reporting Network is a formal document that details the facts related to an incident at the workplace or field.
Through Union of Journalists of South Sudan, the Media Incident Reporting Network will address reduction of risk occurrence and insightful ways and improve the culture of safety and protection of media workers and journalists.
Bidal James who doubles as the Program Coordinator and Secretary General for the Sudan Human Rights Defenders Network said that if all incidents are reported it will ease in holding lawbreakers accountable for their actions through recorded evidence.
‘’Documenting and reporting media incidents is very important because in future it will help in clarifying responsibility for alleged crimes committed against media and journalist.’’
‘’we need to consistently in good manner document them[incidents] so that we can use such incidents for the purpose of the audience-based advocacy and for the purpose of accountability because any crime committed against journalist must be brought to book.’’
‘’Once we have the evidence documented, it will allow us to carry advocacy and perhaps enter constructive dialogues with the state and non-state actor.’’
Bidal says as the world is moving into digital platforms there is a need to digitize all the documentations by investing more in technology adding that it is important all the media clusters put effort and embark on digitalization of incidents.
He also added that as South Sudan plans to hold elections, there is need for adequate information on both elections and current affairs of the country but this he says can only be achieved through open and inclusive civic space.
This he says will bridge the information gap between media, authorities, and the citizens.
On his part, Oyet Patrick, the chairperson for Union of Journalists of South Sudan said the initiative will ease communication and collaboration between reporters, editors, and station managers but this will require professionalism.
Oyet says protection of journalists is the core of Union of Journalists of South Sudan.
Several incidents have been recorded by the Union of Journalists of South Sudan but the most recent one was the arrest of the six journalists working for the national broadcaster South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation by National Security who were arrested for investigation over the leaked video of President Kiir.