Juba 17th March 2015: The UNESCO Club in South Sudan, with support from the UNESCO Juba Office, officially launched the South Sudan Journalism students press clubs on the 13th of March 2015. These Clubs are comprised of Journalism Students from Universities, Media Institutes and Colleges in South Sudan. The launch was officiated by UNESCO Country Representative Mr. Salah Khaled, the Director General for Quality Assurance of the Ministry of Education Dr. Kenneth Adam and the Director General for Archives at the Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sports Mr. Youssef Joe. In participation also were journalism students from Juba University, Catholic University, Christian University, Kampala and Cavendish Universities.
“Youth are a constituency that makes up more than 70% of the population in South Sudan and your needs, voices, views, and contributions are hardly making the headlines of media” Mr. Salah Khaled the UNESCO Country Representative Juba Office challenged the youth present. It is one of the many challenges that the established press clubs should address as well as increase the space for freedom of expression, access to information and press freedom, both online and offline emphasized Mr. Khaled.
In her remarks, Ms. Maha Sadik Ismail the chairperson of the journalism press clubs eleven- member executive board expressed the commitment of the press clubs, stating that ”being appointed as a chairperson of the Journalism press clubs, my team and I are ready to take this club ahead and bring on board all Journalism Students from all over South Sudan.”
The overall objective of the Journalism Students Press Clubs is to expand the space for freedom of expression, increase the professionalism of young journalists, create new space for young journalists to be mentored, thus contributing to the media capacity in the country. Emphasizing this, Mr. Daniel Oyuru the Chairperson UNESCO Club in South pointed out that “establishment of these press clubs is the beginning of a much needed platform for the young Journalists in this country to kick start their careers and professionalism, open participatory communication forum that enhances their journalism skills.”
This initiative was hailed by the South Sudan General Students Union who praised UNESCO for reaching out to young journalism students and providing them with the much needed youth platform, that will enable them increase their professionalism to articulate issues of importance in the country. Advising the press clubs, Mr. Kenneth Adam, Director General of Quality Assurance, Ministry of Education, called on the executive members to be implementers and hard workers. He also encouraged the young future journalists to have evidence of what they are writing on by carrying out investigative journalism. “You have a role to save this country with the kind of career you have chosen.” Said Mr. Adam.
Some of the activities the launched Journalism student press clubs are set to engage in, include mentorship programme with the established media houses and veteran media personnel, students debates, press article writing competitions that will be uploaded in the newly established website http://ssjspc.org/ and also shared with the media for publishing, awarding of the best articles, training on media information literacy, establishment of press clubs in all the remaining nine states of South Sudan and establishment of a network of the same providing them with opportunities to participate in the regional and national activities involving young people.
For further information, please contact
Communication and Information Specialist
UNESCO Juba Office