Peace is the only option: South Sudanese journalist awarded Press Freedom Prize

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While you have tended to worked as a journalist, you have shifted to media training and management. How does this help your cause?

I like it because I work with the community. That is the most important part of it to me because I mostly deal with citizen journalists. Citizen journalists are part of the communities. They can be teachers, they can be farmers or community leaders. I give them the ABC of journalism so that they feed the community radio we have in our communities with the information they need. South Sudan is a very complex state. Mobility is one of the problems. Journalists don’t have access to all the angles [nationwide], at the level of their community. They cannot reach anywhere. So we believe helping citizen journalists get information from wherever the signal reaches. I love working with the community, for my people.

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What are the topics South Sudanese people want to be informed about on the radio?

In general and in the media, we are in the nation building process. We talk a lot about peace and peace building, conflict resolution and peaceful coexistence. This is a topic we try to focus on. Though we also have other things like agriculture. We import everything we consume in South Sudan, so we are supposed to talk about that. [But] we need to have a peaceful environment to do it.

How does your radio network deal with the problem of illiteracy and the multitude of local languages in South Sudan?

I talk to people in South Sudan who don’t know how to read and write with the help of a translator who can translate what I say into their local languages. The original idea was one radio station covering the whole country, but the question of language became a big discussion. How could you reach people in states where English and Arabic aren’t spoken languages? So we have eight radio stations in the country now [and] every station broadcasts in the language of their community.

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