Sudan Tribune’s Riek Machar bias?

Category: NSV
Published on Thursday, 22 July 2010 07:00
Written by Mading Ngor, The New Sudan Vision (NSV),
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James Gatdet Dak (left) & his boss, Vice President Riek Machar (right).

(The Net NSV) - My mental light bulbs went up today as I was reading a letter written by, in this case, deputy chairman of the SPLM, Mr. Riek Machar, presumably for Sudan Tribune audience. I say this because it’s not even on the official SPLM website.

Readers of this blog would recall I posted an article a while back complaining about how ST slices and dices southern Sudan with its permission and by extension, condoning of hateful messages on its website.  

This time we are onto a different issue: bias. Riek Machar ought to be the most covered politician on ST—and rightly so because he is Vice President of Southern Sudan, but with one exception.

If you survey most of the stories written by ST about Riek Machar, you might notice that almost all of them are written by a one James Gatdet Dak. Without a doubt, the guy produces solid reports. The problem, however, is that he works for the Vice President.  

This I have known for a long time.  I remember reading a story, I think by Reuters, in which Gatdet was quoted and introduced as Riek Machar’s press secretary. I don’t know if this is still the case, although I do know he’s still employed with the government of southern Sudan.

You don’t have to take my word for it, though. You only have to check Gatdet’s Facebook profile to confirm this fact.  He says he’s employed by GoSS as senior reporter/journalist, “covering government events, Council of Ministers meetings, diplomats, etc.”  

All you have to know is where his reports appear: ST. Whether he’s paid by the government to report for ST is a mystery to me.

In short, I think ST has a Riek Machar bias, especially when they let his own employee cover him (read like PR to me).

To know this so-called journalist is into Riek Machar, you only have to check his Facebook. Who are his favourite politicians in southern Sudan?

Ready? Riek Machar and his wife, Angelina Jany Teny.

What about President Salva Kiir, who is also on Facebook? No chance.

I thought ST would learn when one of its “reporters”, who also worked for the government, was sacked at a radio post in Rumbek for reporting private government information to ST--not to mention its many quasi-journalists who are really government partisans.

So much for media independence!

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