South Sudan marks World Press Freedom Day: Public Views about the media in the Country: The Weekly Review

Published 5th May 2021. YouTube link:

In this episode, The Weekly Review presents views gathered from the public about the World Press Freedom Day and the media in South Sudan.

Article 24 of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 (as amended) provides the following:

(1) Every citizen shall have the right to the freedom of expression, reception and dissemination of information, publication, and access to the press without prejudice to public order, safety or morals as prescribed by law.

(2) All levels of government shall guarantee the freedom of the press and other media as shall be regulated by law in a democratic society.

(3) All media shall abide by professional ethics. The government has enacted three media laws so far: The Media Authority Act, 2013; The Right of Access to Information Act, 2013; and The Broadcasting Corporation Act, 2013. Among others, The Media Authority Act provides for the establishment of a Media Authority with the role to regulate, develop and promote independent and professional media in South Sudan.

The Right of Access to Information Act explicitly recognizes the constitutional right of every citizen to access information held by public or private bodies, as fundamental to fulfilment of human rights and fighting corruption. And The Broadcasting Corporation Act provides for the transformation of the then South Sudan Television/Radio (SSTV/R) into to South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC), a public broadcaster, independent from political or economic control of the government. There have been concerns regarding some sections of those laws, still, their implementation have been slow and far below their schedules.

Meanwhile, reports about the state of press freedom in the Country have not been good for some years now. In the latest report released by Reporters Without Borders (RFS) last month, South Sudan ranked number 139 out of 180 countries, dropping by one step behind from the position it held last year.