29th November 2023
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Journalist appeals for psychological therapy during traumatic coverage

Author: Doru Peninah | Published: Friday, July 22, 2022

Adia Jildo, reporter for the Number One Citizen Daily Newspaper.

A female journalist has suggested the need for psychological healing service to media practitioners in a bid to overcome the horrors of covering disturbing stories.

Adia Jildo, a practicing journalist with the Number One Citizen Newspaper made the call during an event to mark the 12th anniversary of the Juba-based Media Development Institute on Wednesday.

According to her, some of the stories they come across in their coverage, are traumatizing and affect their mental well-being.

“Do we have a therapist that journalists visit when you are having a trauma? No, we end up facing that same problem year after year because the institutions are not looking at the problems that are facing journalists which include trauma,” said Adia Jildo.

Ms. Jildo remarked that journalism in South Sudan is one of the thousand ways to die, citing numerous challenges facing its professionals.

According to Reporters Without Borders, South Sudan ranked 139 out of 180 countries on the press freedom index in 2021, dropping one place from its ranking in 2020.

Journalists in the county say threats, intimidation and arbitrary arrests are part of everyday life, limiting their ability to inform the public.

However, in May this year, Information Minister Michael Makuei, told the VOA’s South Sudan in Focus, the press freedom is alive in his country.

“South Sudan is the only place where journalists are free, where they enjoy absolute freedom according to the law. I say, ‘according to the law,’ because there is nothing absolute in this world,” said Makuei.

Meanwhile, the reporter said during the MDI Alumni Day, that the environment they are operating in, is the most difficult one.

“We need to heal, journalists are human. We need a place where if you have a problem, you have seen a lot of problems especially with your job, you need to narrate it out, air it out to feel relieved,” said Adia.

Reacting to the concern, Hilde Bergsma, a representative of the Norwegian People’s Aid pitied the reporters.

“I feel very sad that you are seeing these difficult situations and and are still able to rejuvenate yourself to make sure that you are communicating this information to the greater communities,” said Ms. Hilde.

She proposed that partners come together to address the concern.

“It’s important for all of us to make sure that this information is coming out because it’s not only young female journalist who is suffering this, I assume it’s a lot of journalist and this we can help to make sure that we addressing that.”

The Wednesday occasion was celebrated under the theme: “Together we build a vibrant and professional media in South Sudan.”

The day was earmarked with awards to best alumni whose reporting were said to have made great impact in the South Sudanese communities.




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