Hellen Toby, South Sudan — Working in One of the Most Difficult Places in the World

(This story was originally posted on Medium.)

Hellen Toby is an assistant news editor at Eye Radio in South Sudan’s capital city Juba. She had never thought of being a journalist, but was listening to Eye Radio one day and heard there were positions open for journalists and presenters. She decided to give it a try.

Watch this video to learn more about Hellen Toby and what it’s like to work as a journalist in South Sudan.

“Being a journalist in South Sudan is not easy,” says Toby. “Journalists are considered enemies of state. It’s not easy to go and get information from some government sources. You know, you might get arrested for passing information they think is a threat to them.

“South Sudan has now passed legislation for media rights…but despite this…journalists are still being arrested and detained inside the country. And that is the biggest challenge that needs to be addressed.

“For example, the recent outbreak of cholera in Juba. There are some people who don’t know what is cholera. So it is our responsibility to go and educate them. You know if you want to help those people there, it’s only through journalism.”

Internews has been working in what is now South Sudan since 2006, building some of the first community radio stations in the country, and providing communities in remote, information-poor areas with vital access to news and information in local languages. Internews’ work in South Sudan is supported by USAID.