Since independence the mass media have served as channels for the dissemination of information supporting various political parties (during of parliamentary periods) or official government views (during the the years of military rule). Radio, an important medium of mass communication in the country's vast territory, has remained virtually a government monopoly, and television broadcasting been a complete monopoly. The official Sudan News Agency (SUNA), first established in 1971, distributed news about the country in Arabic, English, and French to foreign and domestic services.
Before the 1989 coup, Sudan had a lively press, with most political parties publishing a variety of periodicals. In Khartoum, twenty-two daily papers were published, nineteen in Arabic and three in English. Altogether, the country had fiftyfive daily or weekly newspapers and magazines. The RCC-NS banned all these papers and dismissed more than 1,000 journalists. At least fifteen journalists, including the director of the Sudan News Agency and the editor of the monthly Sudanow, were arrested after the coup. Since coming to power, the RCC-NS has authorized the publication of only a few papers and periodicals, all of which were published by the military or government agencies and edited by official censors. The leading daily in 1991 was Al Inqadh al Watani (National Salvation).
Radio and Television
Radio and television broadcasting were operated by the government. In 1990 there were an estimated 250,000 television sets in the country and about 6 million radio receivers. Sudan Television operated three stations located in Omdurman, Al Jazirah, and Atbarah. The major radio station of the Sudan National Broadcasting Corporation was in Omdurman, with a regional station in Juba for the south. Following the 1989 coup, the RCC-NS dismissed several broadcasters from Sudan Television because their loyalty to the new government and its policies was considered suspect.
In opposition to the official broadcast network, the SPLM operated its own clandestine radio station, Radio SPLA, from secret transmitters within the country and facilities in Ethiopia. Radio SPLA broadcasts were in Arabic, English, and various languages of the south. In 1990 the National Democratic Alliance began broadcasts on Radio SPLA's frequencies.
|Country Studies main page | Sudan Country Studies main page|