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عربي

Al-Ahdath: The death of a newspaper

Hassan Faroog
The collapse of the political daily newspaper al-Ahdath last month sent shockwaves around Sudan’s media.
22.08.2012  |  Khartoum
تتعرض الصحافة في السودان للقمع مما دفع عددا منها لوقف الطباعة والنشر.
تتعرض الصحافة في السودان للقمع مما دفع عددا منها لوقف الطباعة والنشر.

Journalists in Sudan were shocked and angered at news that al-Ahdath went out of business. Some pinned the paper’s demise on those in power, saying the government put both editorial and economic pressure on the political daily. Others, however, pointed a finger at internal mismanagement.

What has happened to the al-Ahdath has been experienced by the majority of newspapers,” says Muhammad Abdulhakam, a journalist at the newspaper. This doesn’t absolve it from the responsibility for ending its experience with an administrative blunder.”

The government’s dissatisfaction with the newspaper closed the advertising channels.” Khaled FathiKhaled Fathi, a journalist at the Hekayat newspaper said the collapse of the paper marks the loss of an opinion platform. He said the government cut off its access to all-important income. The government’s dissatisfaction with the newspaper closed the advertising channels and consequently the newspaper lost revenue,” he said.

News of the end of the daily prompted an online outpouring of sympathy with the newspaper and its publisher, who is also its editor in chief.

I believe that the al-Ahdath newspaper should have been suspended a long time ago.”
Alaa al-Deen Mahmoud
But Alaa al-Deen Mahmoud, a journalist at the al-Jareeda newspaper, warned that some are trying to politicise the issue, focusing attention on the rights of journalists and workers. He described such views as sympathetic but false,” saying, I believe that the al-Ahdath newspaper should have been suspended a long time ago because it didn’t pay the workers’ salaries.”

Many of the paper’s journalists still do not know how or if they will be paid for their recent work for the paper.

But one journalist at the newspaper said Facebook and websites were inaccurate in their emphasis on governmental constraints.

For more background information download the MICT study paper \"The Sudanese press after separation: Contested identities of journalism\"

Compared to many newspapers, especially in recent years, al-Ahdath has no negative attitudes regarding the political power; on the contrary, it was so close to it, as shown by its editorial policies.”

Instead, he faulted management, arguing that people should stop shedding crocodile tears for the newspaper and should instead pity for the journalists who are left without work”.