Text of report by Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation on 28 November
Independent media in Sudan still faces severe challenges to pursue their right to express themselves freely, a report, "Media in Sudan at Crossroads", says.
The situation, according to the report, has been worsened by the current tension pitting the Southern government and the Khartoum administration, following the controversial Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2005.
The report says that a highly-politicized environment in Sudan is reflected in the media sector, where a significant part of the media in the country operates within a set political frame, pursuing political goals and the desire to influence public opinion and decision making.
Speaking during the launch of the report a Nairobi hotel Tuesday, a representative from the Association for Media Development in South Sudan, Mr Jacob Akol, said the media in South Sudan is still influenced by the happenings in the North.
He added that media stakeholders there are already working on! four media related bills, which will be tabled before the parliament in Juba any time. He added the numerous problems facing the media in that country, have been caused by the war that ravaged it for many decades.
He said: "Accessing information remains a challenge for media practitioners as well as other civil society representatives. At present, there are no laws assuring the access to information."
Dr Elsadic Elfaqih, who is a journalist from the country, said major reforms should be done to the media in Sudan. He added that the media has been a casualty to a host of problems facing the country.
"Working conditions are not conducive to the media from issues regarding capacity building and all forms of legislation regarding the media," he said.
The report, which was an assessment of the media situation in Sudan, was produced in cooperation between International Media Support (IMS), Article 19, the Association for Media Development in South Sudan (! AMDISS), the Khartoum Centre for Human Rights and Environmental Develo pment (KCHRED), the Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) and the Olof Palme International Centre (OPIC).
Present during the function was a representative from the Norwegian People's Aid, Mr Halle Journ Hanssen, who said his country was committed to ensuring a free media in Sudan.
Source: Daily Nation website, Nairobi, in English 28 Nov 07