UJOSS initiates journalism award

The Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) has initiated the Journalism Excellence Award scheduled to be held in late November 2023.

‘‘The reason as to why we are here is to announce an event that UJOSS has been organizing for the last six months; it is the Journalism Excellence Award. It will take place in late November,” Oyet Patrick, head of the body, said in a press conference on Wednesday.

Oyet stated that the award is very vital, for it will promote professionalism, good journalism, and specialization.

‘‘We want to move from the idea where a journalist reports on everything like reporting on sports, health, agriculture etc. We are moving towards a direction where a journalist should specialize in a certain field where one is comfortable,” he emphasized.

Meanwhile, Suzan Alphonse – director general for South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC), who will also be the chief judge for the excellence award – appreciated the Union of Journalists of South Sudan for initiating such an award event.

‘‘It is for the first time in history that such an event is going to happen in the media sector of South Sudan. It is high time we recognize the hardworking journalists, giving them exposure to their work,’’ Suzan said.

For his part, Gabriel Shadar, a senior journalist at Radio Miraya, explained that the judgement will not be biased, but competently.

‘‘It is not going to be a Juba focus; it will cover the entire country. It is an opportunity for those in the media to improve their work. We are pushing for specialization which we call the beats, and when you follow the beats then in five years’ time, you become an expert and even become a consultant,” he added.

Meanwhile, Moyiga Nduru, commissioner for Access to Information Commission, encouraged journalists to apply and participate in this competition award.

He believes that the judges will expect the applicants to produce original work, evidence of handwork, and research.

The Journalism Excellence Award shall be categorized into ten, namely: Excellence in Health reporting, Economy & Business reporting, Political & Human Rights reporting, Peace Journalism reporting, Education reporting, Climate Change reporting, Gender reporting, Youth & Sports reporting, Still Photography reporting, and Culture reporting.

The judges are Suzan Alphonse, Gabriel Shadar, Moyiga Nduru, Sapana Abuyi, director general for Media Authority; and Dr. Rebecca Lorins, head of School of Journalism at the University of Juba.

Oyet added that winners will bag certificates and journalism gadgets, including cameras, recorders, and tripods.