Media of South Sudan

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The Media of South Sudan is underdeveloped compared to many other countries, including fellow East African states like Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Poor transportation infrastructure and entrenched poverty in the country inhibit both the circulation of newspapers, particularly in states located far from the capital of Juba, and the ability of media outlets to maintain regular coverage of the entire country.[1]

South Sudan nonetheless has several indigenous media outlets and a host of active journalists.

Media freedom[edit]

Following the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, the constitution of the newly autonomous South Sudan guarantees press freedom and ensures that all levels of government uphold the principle. Three progressive media bills were introduced in 2007 but were not enacted until the end of 2011, leaving journalists in that period without comprehensive legal protections and the media sector without a regulatory framework.[2]

According to Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the South Sudanese government guarantees freedom of the press, a significant difference from the neighboring Republic of the Sudan from which the South gained independence in July 2011. However, journalists including the editors of both The Citizen and The Juba Post have alleged harassment, abuse, and de facto censorship at the hands of the Sudan People's Liberation Army/Movement as recently as in the months leading up to independence, and the government has been known to confiscate newspapers[1] and threaten radio stations with closure. The distribution of Arabic-language publications in South Sudan has also allegedly been restricted and outright banned at turns.[3]

Days after South Sudan gained independence, the Sudanese government banned the transportation of newspapers between the two countries and shut down publications and news bureaus owned by South Sudanese in the North, including the Khartoum bureau of The Juba Post.[4]

South Sudan was ranked 124th in the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index in 2013, falling by twelve places since 2012. Reporters Without Borders cited the murder of Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol, who was shot dead by an unidentified man on December 12, 2012 as the reason for the country's fall in ranking.[5]

In 2014, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International released a joint report about media freedom in South Sudan. The report, titled "The Price of Silence: Freedom of Expression Under Attack in South Sudan," accuses the National Security Service of harassing and detaining journalists.[6]


Radio is the main source of news and information in South Sudan. Since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, over 30 FM radio stations have been set up across the country with the encouragement of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) run government. Radio networks and stations are run and funded by Churches, community organizations, international NGOs and private businesses.[7]


The government-run South Sudan Television Station (SSTV) is based in Juba. It is the only functioning television station in the country. The SSTV broadcasts six hours a day in English and Arabic and can also be viewed on Satellite. The station runs a few small local TV stations in Aweil, Wau, Malakal and Rumbek. South Africa provides training for SSTV staff.[7]

In 2013, the owners of The Citizen daily newspaper launched The Citizen Television (CTV) station broadcasting from the capital, Juba, for five hours each evening. However, in September 2015 the Editor-in-Chief of The Citizen Nhial Bol announced he was resigning and shutting down the newspaper and TV station after government security agents shut down his newspaper's premises, while receiving death threats.[8]

Channel Language Establishment Hub
South Sudan Television English 2010 Juba

News publications and outlets[edit]

Newspapers in South Sudan circulate almost exclusively among the educated elite in urban areas and very few copies reach rural villages. Nearly all newspapers are published in English and as of early 2012, most, such as the Southern Eye, were printed in Kampala or Nairobi and flown into Juba for delivery. South Sudan has two printing presses capable of printing newspapers, one is owned by the government and the other is owned by the daily newspaper The Citizen.

The Citizen and the Juba Monitor, both of which are produced and printed in Juba, are the country’s only daily newspapers. The Citizen was initially founded by a former journalist of the Khartoum Monitor in Sudan and became South Sudan’s first daily newspaper when it transferred all of its operations from Khartoum to Juba. The Juba Monitor was launched in 2011 and is owned by a former BBC correspondent in Khartoum.[9]

The bi-weekly Juba Post is edited by a team of journalists in Juba but is printed in Khartoum. It is the only South Sudan newspaper that is still widely sold in Khartoum. The Sudan Mirror is another bi-weekly newspaper that is produced and printed in Nairobi. Al-Maseer newspaper was the first Arabic language newspaper to be published in South Sudan and was launched in February 2011. This newspaper was aimed at South Sudanese returning from Khartoum and proved to be very popular with the Arabic speaking South Sudanese. Following disagreement over share distribution, this first Arabic language daily ceased publication on Tuesday 10 June 2014. Most of the editorial staff then came together to launch a new Arabic language daily, Al-Maugif, with its first issue hitting the stands on Saturday 14 June 2014.

SHE South Sudan magazine was an independent magazine providing information and entertainment to the women of South Sudan.

Several South Sudanese-led news organisations cover South Sudan from abroad. These include the South Sudan News Agency, the Sudan Tribune, the New Sudan Vision, and[9]

Some other newly created online media outlets includes Wangdunkon Media,[10] Talk of Juba,[11] Nyamilepedia Press,[12] South Sudan Portal[13] and The Upper Nile Times.[14] Most of these upcoming media are also operated outside the country.

List of Media Outlets in South Sudan[edit]

The Press[edit]

  • The Citizen - a private daily paper for the capital, Juba
  • Juba Monitor - a government-owned daily paper for the capital, Juba
  • Sudan Mirror - a privately owned paper
  • Al-Maugif - a privately owned paper



News Agencies/Internet[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Carlstrom, Gregg (12 July 2011). "South Sudan journalists facing intimidation". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  2. ^ "South Sudan". Freedom House.
  3. ^ "South Sudan's Media Landscape Has Long Path Toward Democratization". South Sudan Info. 11 July 2011. Archived from the original on 29 July 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  4. ^ Odongo, Robert (17 July 2011). "Khartoum bans South Sudan newspapers". Talk of Sudan. Retrieved 2 August 2011.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "2013 World Press Freedom Index" (PDF). Reporters Without Borders. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-10-13.
  6. ^ "The Price of Silence: Freedom of Expression Under Attack in South Sudan" (PDF). Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. August 2014. Retrieved 2015-10-16.
  7. ^ a b "South Sudan: Media and Telecoms Landscape Guide" (PDF). INFOASAID.
  8. ^ Waakhe, Simon. "South Sudan's Citizen newspaper lays off staff, forced to close". The Niles. Retrieved 2015-10-16 – via 2015-09-16.
  9. ^ a b "South Sudan Newspapers and News on the Internet". Stanford University. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-05-30. Retrieved 2015-05-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Talk of Juba - Latest South Sudanese News, Sport and Entertainment". Talk of Juba.
  12. ^ "Nyamilepedia". Nyamilepedia.
  13. ^ "South Sudan News Portal - A smart speedy take on Sudan". South Sudan News Portal.
  14. ^ "The Upper Nile Times". The Upper Nile Times. Archived from the original on 2015-05-01. Retrieved 2015-05-01.
  15. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference BBC was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

External links[edit]