The Juba Telegraph (TJT) first issue
The Juba Telegraph (TJT) first issue

The editor-in-chief of The Juba Telegraph, a brand-new newspaper, has been forced to apologise for remarks about the state of journalism in South Sudan that appear to have offended some people in high places.

During a speech at the launch of his paper, the editor-in-chief said:

“…the work of journalism was tough (in 2005) when officials came in with the bush mentality”

According to witnesses, officials from the SPLM Secretariat in the audience felt offended by the in-correctness of the statement. The editor-in-chief was left with little choice but to take back his words and apologize there and then.

“I was wrong to say our work was tough. For that I apologize. It was not really hard at all, and as a matter of fact before that, journalists were not even allowed to operate freely. When these officials came with the bush mentality, it actually helped. So, I apologize for exaggerating our hardship, and ‘Oyee!’ to the bush mentality,” the apologetic editor said.

The editor-in-chief went on to pour praises for those brave officials who are blessed and revered for their experience and vision that could only be gained through years of sacrifice in the bush during the long and bitter struggle for freedom – a promise that they indeed, and true to their dedication and love for the nation, delivered in a silver plate in the form of the independence of South Sudan.

The apology appears to have been accepted – no one has been arrested and the keys to their offices have not been confiscated (yet).

One government officials praised the editor-in-chief for apologizing.

“To say it was ‘tough’ when we came in with bush mentality is a big lie – actually, we helped and facilitated a lot of things that were not possible before. South Sudan was not even the that list of Freedom of Press index until we came – you see! The point is, journalism was never ‘tough’ in South Sudan” said the official who declined to be named but admits to be one of those who felt offended by the editor’s exaggeration of the difficulties journalist face in South Sudan.

Saakam joins in to say – #BushMentality Oyee!