After a few months of broadcasting Nadhrat al-Shafafa through six radio stations in South Sudan, I was send back to another training to iron out issues like communication. In a country with lousy telephone connections and dodgy internet connection communication is in the best of times difficult. And also in South Sudan, like so often in the international media landscape, are journalists proving to be lousy at communication.
I did a refresher course during which we made items but looked into the individual problems reporters were facing. The line of questioning is often boring and not inquisitive, which is partly the effect of the very limited press freedom in the country.
Also based in the limited press freedom is the problem to find people to interview. Most are too scared to talk even if the subject is not sensitive at all.
But it showed also once again that the gusto to go the extra mile for a story is lacking when the salary is as little as reporters in South Sudan earn. And a lot of them suffer from trauma over the conflict, the violence and the disappointment of what happened to their country since Independence.
But sitting face to face, discussing and talking helped to hammer out a number of issues. And after a week the group left for their respective station with renewed energy and promises.