The Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) is set to resume holding its annual media awards event later this year after a three-year hiatus due to financial constraints, a Sunday press statement said.
The organization now says the awards will bounce back in December 2023.
“CEPO suspended the annual Media Awards which recognizes national media outlets and journalists for the last three years due to funds limitations. CEPO will be resuming the annual awards this year from 10 December 2023 during the marking of International Human Rights Day,” the statement read. “CEPO views media as a key player in South Sudan in repairing the broken social fabric. The media is also very instrumental in promoting the spirit of reconciliation, and forgiveness and pressuring the political leaders to commit to the realization of successful political transition from violence to peace.”
According to CEPO, media houses in South Sudan are cash-strapped and said money should be availed to the industry for the realization of peace and stability.
CEPO Executive Director Edmund Yakani said the resumption of CEPO’s Media Awards aims to recognize the remarkable role played by the media and journalists in consolidating peace and stability despite working in difficult conditions.
“The media awards will have standard rewards compared to the previous years and the procedures for selecting recipients for the awards will be open to the public for transparency purposes,” he said.
The categories of the 2023 awards will include; journalist of the year, radio station of the year, newspaper of the year, best and influential media article of year, and news website of the year.
The other categories are; radio disk jockey (DJ) of the year, influential NGO media of the year, and media cartoonist of the year award.
“CEPO will try to generate attention for effective support for media and journalists especially with the country heading to national general elections in December 2024,” Yakani said. “CEPO is strongly appealing to donors and other sources of funding to support the media and journalists with reasonable financial support.”
“CEPO appreciates the media and journalists in their various capacities across the country,” he added.
The CEPO boss acknowledged that the media has strongly and effectively contributed to consolidating peace and stability in the country albeit being threatened, harassed, intimidated and members of its fraternity being arrested.
“It is time to say thank you, the media and journalists, for your remarkable work in the country,” Yakani concluded.