MDI awards 23 students with advanced certificate in journalism

In their 6th graduation ceremony, the Media Development Institute (MDI) has awarded its seven cohort students with a certificate in advanced journalism.

Twenty-three students, among them eight females and 15 males, were awarded with the certificate.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony, the executive director of  the Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS) congratulated the new graduates for their achievements.

Ayaa Irene, said MDI is not only for training journalists but also for discovery.

“MDI is where you can discover yourself and find out the talents you have within you. I am saying this because I have witnessed some young people who joined MDI just to get a certificate in journalism become more than they thought they would be,” said Ayaa Irene.

She appreciated partners like USAID, NPA, NCA and UNESCO for their unwavering and generous support.

“I congratulate you all for this great achievement. As journalists go out there and provide your citizens with credible and accurate news and information. Be dedicated to freedom of expression,” Daren Manning, USAID director for Office of Democracy and Governance, told thegraduands.

He appealed to the young men and women to build a free, transparent, and exclusive South Sudan where every citizen’s voice can be heard.

In addition, Hilde Bergsma – county director of Norwegian People’s Aid, told the eight females to ensure that they make voices of women heard in news reporting and coverage.

“My sisters, go out there and make us proud. As a journalist, it is a tough job, especially for you the females but it is important to have voices of the females on news on what is happening. We want to hear more gender issues and half of the voices of the population who are the women in the media,” Hilde stated.

The best performing students, Sara Atoj Nyok Deng and Ochen Moses Taban, expressed their happiness.

They said the passion for journalism inspired them to enroll at MDI to attain knowledge and skills in journalism.

“We should be humble and courageous, because the profession is not for the soft-hearted. We may face obstacles out there, but let’s not give up,” said Sara Atoj.

For her part, Taban stated:

“When I joined MDI, I did not have knowledge about journalism; I was a medical student. But I started loving journalism and decided to enroll for it. I am just so happy.”

Meanhile, Koang Pal Chang, AMDISS chairperson of the board of directors, urged the graduates to be professional in line of their work.

“As you proceed to the media industry, go and make good use of your skills and practice ethical journalism that has been inculcated into you at MDI. Reports must at all times be true and accurate,” Koang instructed.

Since the Media Development Institute started its training program in 2015, it has so far graduated 184 students.