VOA trainer Bart Childs and Project Coordinator John Ogulnik traveled to Juba in June to conduct technical and editorial journalism training workshops. VOA’s local stringers made up one group of trainees, and the other group was made up of South Sudanese journalists invited by the US Embassy. The separate trainings allowed for more in-depth training for VOA’s network of stringers, who have stronger journalism skills than the others, and who had already attended two VOA-sponsored trainings. VOA’s stringers spent the week researching, preparing and working on pieces that eventually aired on South Sudan in Focus.
For the second straight year, U.S. Ambassador Susan Page was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to hold a news conference for the trainees. It is a great experience for them to meet the ambassador in a less formal setting and to have the opportunity to ask direct questions of an ambassador. Also, Tiffany McGriff, who was the U.S. Embassy PAO at the time of the training, spoke to the group about her perception of South Sudanese reporters, encouraging them to do what they can to improve as journalists working in a difficult journalistic milieu and to be more aggressive in terms of cultivating news sources.