Our culture of Journalism in South Sudan is going insane

By Santino Aniek,

SBS Dinka radio journalist, Ajak Deng Chenkou during a presentation at his radio station(Photo: file)

SBS Dinka radio journalist, Ajak Deng Chenkou during a presentation at his radio station(Photo: file)

Feb 03, 2018(Nyamilepedia) —– It appears that the SBS self proclaim journalist Ajak Deng Chiengkou who interviewed Garang Goch couple of weeks ago is unwilling to hear the other side of the story from Jamjang Commissioner. Now, can we agree that Mr. Chiengkou is probably enjoying this story more than anybody wants to admit or that anybody knows? I knew it was going to happen, everything I knew about Mr. Chiengkou with his SBS was going to happen sooner or later, everything I predicted that was going to happen, and it is happening because he is refusing to examine the fact that is always the key point in journalism business. As we have witnessed all these years, Mr. Chiengkou is the most bias self proclaims journalist in the history of journalism in South Sudan and he has provided today by simple ignoring to examine the facts. If you folks are wondering what I’m talking about, stand by; I’m going to explain all of this in a minute. In fact Mr. Chiengkou has just chosen one side once again as he usually does all these years. While he and his buddy Mr. Goch loved certain aspects side of the story, they hated certain aspects side of the story, and we on this side loved all sides of the story. But nobody should have believed Mr. Chiengkou because that interview he conducted few days ago was a total bastardization.

For general consummation, allow me to offer the following as a foreword for what took place between Jamjang Youth and the allege accuser Garang Goch. We were told that the following was the genesis of the problem between these two sides, but what I do not know is what was said during the oral arguments between Mr. Goch and the Jamjang youth leader. But here is what we were told on the ground; in May of last year, Garang Goch was appointed as the Director of Education for Refugee in Ruweng State. From the time when Mr. Goch took over, he deliberately introduced drastic measures that prevent Ruweng children from learning in the refugee schools in Jamjang (which are better equipped and staffed) contrary to the existing policy those local children from Jamjang use to learn together with refugee children before him. In addition, Mr. Goch deliberately layoff Ruweng youth employees and offered those jobs to people from other States, some from as far as Australia. As a result, Mr. Goch was accused by the Jamjang Youth for his unfair policies by targeting a particular community. The most important accusation against him by Jamjang youths, it seems, was that the new director was alienating the host community. Mr. Goch deliberately responded that the reason why Jamjang Youths were not getting those jobs was because they were not educated enough even though they claim to be uncivilized. Following this back and forth arguments between Mr. Goch and Jamjang Youths, the youths allegedly threatened to expel Mr. Goch from Jamjang. But the police authorities in Ruweng State successively intervened and arrested the Jamjang Youth leader with some of his colleagues. Following these incidents, some Jamjang Youths, the next day, went to the detention center where their leader and colleagues were kept and forcefully opened the gate to release them. That allegedly prompted Mr. Goch further to say the following about the Jamjang youths on his Facebook page: “Being Educated has far meaning from being civilized, some act like village dogs not knowing the quality of learning the have is past their egotistical thinking. Ti3l gut wun nyin walahi. #Losof angerwalahi.” Meaning “Tiel Gut Wun Nyin”. Now folks, be the judges!

I guess we can start here, this is the fully meaning of insanity, we are literally being swept up by the insane, and being told we have to join Mr. Chiengkou and his buddy Mr. Goch in their insanity. Folks, some things that really deeply trouble me about our society, culture, and where it is heading now because we do not want to revisit the 80s. Some people had used the same abusive language that Mr. Goch is now using and if Mr. Chiengkou wants to stand by his buddy, then it is going to be muddy. Yes, indeed, we know human mind is an incredibly adept tool for generating reasons to turn their shame into someone else’s false. For a short while, I was somewhat cushioned from the awful reality of whatever it is I simply do not have the capacity to digest Mr. Chiengkou and his buddy Mr. Goch pathetic bias anymore, but to respond. What is less remarked upon, perhaps, is the lack of understanding this pattern of behavior of Mr. Chiengkou, who seem to regard his bias as somehow helpful to his career in journalism and this is nothing, but wretched. Ridiculously, Mr. Chiengkou and his buddy have turned this normal process of rationalization into insanity by telling lies and trying to justify it. They have taken actions they truly consider to be morally correct and convinced themselves that they are following the right way of reporting their story to the entire nation with one side story. Yet somehow in this interview Mr. Chiengkou has convinced himself that the popularity of his SBS depends upon taking one side of the story, but the tittle he proclaim disagree with his bias interview, and it is now carrying out unpopular message around the globe. 

As always the case, the reason Mr. Chiengkou is doing this is because the entire South Sudanese do not know has taken place in Jamjang; our people in South and outside South Sudan do not know the whole story, him and his buddy Mr. Goch is going to make sure that their version of that story gets told in the unpopular culture (SBS). One of the important facts Mr. Chiengkou has by and large failed to rationalize is the degree to which he is a self proclaim journalist and being journalist, you got to have both sides of the story. Unfortunately, Mr. Chiengkou has chosen to have one side of the story leaving us with no choice, but to respond to his pathetic bias opinion. Consequently, Mr. Chiengkou and his buddy Mr. Goch on both ends of the story seem almost determined to take advantage to shame the Youth of Jamjang in particular and Ruweng people in general. But however, their motive here is perfectly understandable to all of us in side Ruweng State and outside the country because Mr. Chiengkou and his buddy Mr. Goch by and large falsely believe that the Youth of Jamjang have treated the none Ruweng people unfairly, and that unfair treatment has driven Mr. Chiengkou to stick with one side of the story. While the opposite is actually true, it was the allege accuser Mr. Goch who use his education to take advantage to humiliate those Youth who have complained again him because they were not getting fair equal employment in Jamjang. As a result, Mr. Chiengkou and his buddy Mr. Goch did inevitably use whatever power they have to shame the Ruweng people following the incident in Jamjang. But a knowledgeable person would understand that this story could not be proven to be hundred percent true until the other side tell their story. Instead they have somehow persuaded themselves that they are earning more cheap shoots on the people that have nothing, but obsess with defamations.

Now this has confirmed that bias runs deeply in some culture in South Sudanese and seems particularly prevalent just now with Mr. Chiengkou’s action. Nevertheless, It seems to me that Mr. Chiengkou is now turning his backs on the career he has been proclaiming all these years as a journalist by going against the same believe that has earned job in Australia and forget to recall that journalism is one of the best business in the entire world. That bring me to human mind, it seems, has an extraordinary capacity for denial, even of the most obvious facts, and this man (Ajak) is the best example of all time. When we are in great pain, for example; shocked by bereavement, or an unexpected trauma, denial allows us to slowly, gradually come to terms with whatever has happened. But the Ruweng people should not be in this phase because Mr. Chiengkou and his buddy Mr. Goch has created this twisted accusation and the name-calling is not natural circumstance, but was manufacture them. Acting as a filter, a softening of the blow, it gives us space and time to assimilate the overwhelming, the unthinkable, and the unbelievable. But now the majorities of our people will be wondering why I refused to take the above mention approach. Here is the reason, because I’m retired army from Zalzal one battalion, I have had this song before that Panaruu is this, Panaruu is that, and now Mr. Goch is singing the same song again. And so at this moment in time, it is a natural part of our defense mechanism to tell the entire South Sudanese people that this is a different era because this generation will never ever condone names calling once and for all. 

Now in this world of knowledge, much of what we have denied is not pretty. Thirty somes years ago, we fought together, we bleed together, we die together, we have liberated this country together, and now it is the time for folks like Mr. Goch to deny the entire community an equal opportunity, but to him it is time to share the fruits of our hardworking together. Even though we spent all these years fighting for this country, it became clear that there is still a subtle denial happening, but Mr. Chiengkou should advise his buddy that what he have done wrong in 2018. As a result I found myself saying, I couldn’t tolerate anymore because it is that bad. In the longer term, however, denial makes human insane like Mr. Chiengkou. If you keep denying over and over and over again, what really happened, we really feel that we become disconnected from ourselves, and it is the reason we are in this situation. The reality is, part of Mr. Chiengkou is deeply buried knowing the truth, so his denial of not want to hear the other side of the story can never be truly convincing. Whatever the denial is, yes, it is hard, but you know, it wasn’t really that big a deal, I don’t think it affected Ruweng people that badly because the majorities of the South Sudanese will be in our defense. Equally, denying other an equal an employment opportunity and then expect the same people not to criticize you or the Youth of Jamjang should not supposed to feel that kind of feeling, somehow it is indulgent or wrong. For Mr. Goch, rejecting Youth of Jamjang not to have the same opportunity in order to fulfill his dream, and expect our people in this moment in time is to move from denial to facing the reality of this world problem after problem is beyond believe.

Finally, I thought we have learned all these years maybe from school of journalism Mr. Chiengkou, or maybe from the longest war in Africa, and should create the space in which we could be totally honest about our past experience in each moment we had. I also thought our generation will find themselves emerging from the insanity of denial or discrimination, and into the light of acknowledgeable, but with this provocative from people like Mr. Goch mean that there is a lot still need to be done in South Sudan. As we search for an answer for Mr. Goch’s discrimination, humiliation, ignorance, and abusive language together with buddy Mr. Chiengkou, I discover that by denying our pain not to response drastically mean we have been denying our power. Today, I have realized that people like Mr. Chiengkou are more comfortable with their own truths and naturally become less inclined to deny others theirs. Now my advise to Mr. Chiengkou moving out of your own state of denial will enables you to empathies much more deeply with others, and do us a favor would, call Jamjang commissioner and let your buddy Mr. Goch apologize please. I believe this response may not be able to influence the wider denials going on in Mr. Chiengkou’s world, the marginalizing of those who are suffering the most, but we can attend to whatever we have to make change happen in ourselves. And that, I believe we need a radical change, people like Mr. Chiengkou need to change their rotten bias now, and return to the same principle in journalism that has given him an equal opportunity to be a bias host of SBS in Australia.

Santino Aniek is a concerned South Sudanese in Upstate New York, U.S.A. He can be reached at santino.aniek5@gmail.com and you find me on Facebook, on Skype and on twitter @saniek.

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