Atem has been working as a professional journalist for many years, and has held positions in several Sudanese newspapers such as Al-Sahafa, Al-Ayyam, Ajrass Al-Hurriya and Al-Jareeda. After the independence of South Sudan, he founded Al-Masir, the first Arabic-language newspaper in South Sudan, together with a group of South Sudanese journalists. He was the editor-in-chief of Al-Masir for over one year. Atem joined The Niles in 2012, and he as well continues to contribute numerous articles to various national and international news outlets. Atem resides in Juba, the capital of the Republic of South Sudan.