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Media&Makers: Juba


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Proceedings of the Media&Makers: Juba Open Knowledge and Sustainable Media Forum (South Sudan, December 2012).

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Media&Makers: Juba

  2. 2. Editor: Julian KücklichManaging editor: Philipp HochleichterCopyeditor: Cathrin SchaerFact-checking: Roman Deckert, Nik LehnertDesign and layout: Gunnar BauerIllustrations: Julian KücklichPhoto: Anke FiedlerThe Media & Makers: Juba 2012 Open Knowledge and SustainableMedia Forum was organized by MICT - Media in Cooperation andTransition and r0g_media with financial support from the GermanFederal Foreign Office and UNESCO (Juba office), in collabora-tion with UNICEF. Official Partners: Ministry of Information andBroadcasting, Republic of South Sudan, and Association for MediaDevelopment in South Sudan.Contact:MICT - Media in Cooperation and TransitionBrunnenstraße 9, 10119 Berlin, Germany+49 30 484 93 02-0www.mict-international.orgkuecklich@mict-international.orgThis work and all the materials it contains are licensed undera Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0Unported License.
  3. 3. dear reader,MICT has been active in what was then Northern and Southern Sudan since 2008. Our work there beganwith the collaborative production of an interactive online tool for voter education, the Electionnaire. Thefollowing year MICT and its local partners initiated a continuous program for training young journalistsfrom both parts of the country. This was done with support from the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.This project, Sudan Votes, brought together more than 50 media practitioners as well as musicians tobridge political, cultural and linguistic barriers. After the peaceful secession of South Sudan on 9th July2011, the project changed its name to The Niles, an homage to the Nile rivers, an essential link betweenthe two countries, Sudan and South Sudan.It is obvious that professional journalism training is still necessary here in order to decrease stereotypicaland biased reporting. But over the years that MICT has been operating here, it has also become clear thatthe economic conditions, in which Sudanese and South Sudanese journalists work, are equally important.In both countries, publishing houses and their employees are hampered not just by political pressure butalso by financial constraints.On the one hand, they are dealing with economic crises that have plagued the two countries after separa-tion. On the other, they must cope with the same structural issues that are challenging traditional mediaall over the world right now. This is particularly pertinent in the fledgling state of South Sudan where, daily,newspapers as well as radio and TV stations have to overcome a series of obstacles just to publish or broad-cast. At the same time their conventional revenue streams are being threatened by the digital revolution.This is why MICT and r0g_media teamed up with UNICEF South Sudan, the South Sudanese Ministryof Information and Broadcasting, and the Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS)to organize MEDIA & MAKERS: JUBA 2012. The conference, held in Mid-December, was funded by theFederal Foreign Office of Germany and UNESCO South Sudan.It consisted of two streams. One focussed on media and sustainability, the other on open data and openknowledge models. Rather than just holding lectures, the event saw working groups come together todiscuss both themes. Three days of debate and discussion were attended by around 70 people from all overSouth Sudan, including senior editors and young journalists, representatives from civil society organisa-tions as well as government officials and members of parliament, diplomats and experts.This paper documents the theme of media and sustainability. The following six chapters summarize thelively discussions between international guests – mostly Africans who presented innovative solutions fromAfrica, for Africa – and the local participants. The results of those discussions may contribute to creatinga more sustainable media sector in the newest nation of the world.Truly independent media may be a long way off in South Sudan, but a more diverse multi-dependencyseems an achievable goal in the foreseeable future. After all, nascent South Sudan still has the chance toavoid the mistakes that have damaged the plurality of expression in more developed countries. The attend-ees demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to overcoming those challenges.MICT would like to express particular thanks to South Sudan’s Deputy Minister of Information, the trulyHonorable Atem Yak Atem. By emphasizing the positive role that media can play in the pursuit of peace,he reinforced hopes for a better understanding between the two neighbouring countries, Sudan and SouthSudan.MEDIA & MAKERS: JUBA 2012 has not been a one-off. It is to be followed up by MEDIA & MAKERS:KHARTOUM 2013 in May. Indeed, one of the most rewarding experiences of the Juba event was to be ableto witness Sudanese journalists being very welcomed by their South Sudanese counterparts - regardlessof the tensions between the two governments.Roman DeckertSudan and South Sudan desk, MICT
  4. 4. 4he world’s youngest country turned one on July 9, 2012, and althoughthe celebrations were clouded by the ongoing spat with Khartoumover oil, pipelines and territories, one does not need to look far to findevidence of South Sudan’s resurgent national pride and self-confi-dence. The numerous posters and banners that are hung across thestreets of South Sudan’s capital, Juba, convey the spirit of state andnation building with catchy slogans.“Thank you, people of South Sudan, for choosing freedom.”“Congratulations SPLM for the first anniversary of independence.”“Thank you for peace, security, stability.”It is no secret, however, that attaining independence was not the panaceasome expected it to be. It’s clear that many issues remain unresolved –and that long list starts with infrastructure, national security, legislationand a functioning medical and educational system.South Sudan’s media doesn’t remain unaffected either. On the contrary.But before assessing it any further, it’s important to remember that thisis a work in progress, as is the building of this new nation-state. Al-though some media in the south in pre-secession Sudan have a stronghistory – and in particular, a couple of radio stations there – in manyareas the country has had to start from scratch.“The Western worldneeds to be more patientwith us.”As Atem Yaak Atem, South Sudan’s Deputy Minister for Informationand Broadcasting and founder of The Pioneer newspaper, put it at theMedia & Makers: Juba conference in December 2012, “the Westernworld needs to be more patient with us”.When it comes to the reform of media legislation that has been beingdiscussed since 2006, pressure on the South Sudanese government isincreasing and it’s coming from the international community as wellas from South Sudanese advocacy groups. One of the key local playersthat has been tracking the drafting of this law from the beginning isthe Association for Media Development in South Sudan (or AMDISS),founded in 2003 by editors and owners of leading South Sudanesemedia outlets.In March 2012, three bills for media legislation were introducedto the Cabinet, then submitted to the National Legislative Assembly.But they are still awaiting final approval and enactment. These lawsare the Right to Access to Information Bill (no. 54), the BroadcastingCorporation Bill (no. 53) which plans to transform the state-run SouthSudan Radio and South Sudan Television into national public servicebroadcasters and the Media Authority Bill (no. 52) which aims toestablish an independent regulatory body for media.And media professionals in South Sudan are accusing the govern-ment of deliberately withholding approval of these laws. The existinglegal vacuum makes it impossible for journalists and publishers toinvoke their rights to freedom of expression and media freedoms, theysay, as well as to access official information.“We are journalists,we don’t fear anything.It’s the politicians thatfear us.”This lack of trust is especially apparent in the media’s relationshipwith local security forces. In recent months, most of the media outletsin South Sudan have been threatened with censorship, repressionor detention and generally harassed. The date of December 5, 2012,marked a low point in this young country’s history: this was the daythat unidentified gunmen shot dead the writer and journalist, IsaiahDing Abraham Chan Awuol, who was well known for his criticalonline columns.Even though this brutal murder is definitely not representative of mostof the threats and obstacles faced by South Sudanese journalists, it cer-tainly made an impact. Yet the will to continue remains strong.“We are journalists, we don’t fear anything. It is the politicians thatfear us,” Wadalla Peter, the head of community radio station, MaridiFM, says. The station was closed for a short time by authorities inWestern Equatoria because of criticism of the government.However it is also worthwhile pointing out that the problem does notlie only with politicians. “Our major problem is that journalists lackprofessionalism,” the Deputy Minister for Information and Broadcast-ing has said. “Often they hold the government accountable for thingswithout checking the facts and without objective information.”The poor quality of journalism education in South Sudan remains aproblem. A lot of media professionals, especially among the young-er generation, have never had any training beyond the occasionalworkshop offered by non-governmental institutions or other institu-tions. The College of Mass Communication at Juba University cannotmaintain international standards. And those journalists who did getthe chance to study usually gained their qualification from somewherethe medialandscapein South SudantodayAnke FiedlerT
  5. 5. 5the medialandscapein South Sudantodayoutside South Sudan, from the University of Khartoum or the Omdur-man Islamic University, for example – or from universities elsewherein Africa or in the west.AMDISS is a strong advocate for quality journalism in the countryand has been looking for funding with which to establish a trainingcentre. The fact that they’re seeking these funds indicates just howmuch South Sudanese media institutions are dependent on interna-tional funding.For example, The New Nation newspaper is completely funded by theBelgian government. The radio station, Miraya FM, was created and issustained by the United Nations and the Swiss-based media organi-zation, Fondation Hirondelle. These media outlets also compete withindependent newspapers and radio stations for advertising and saleson the local media market.Due to the high rate of illiteracy in South Sudan - an estimated 70 to80 percent cannot read - news is often disseminated by communityleaders in rural areas. Increasingly mobile phones also provide infor-mation.Of mass media, radio is the most popular and simultaneously thecheapest source of information in South Sudan. At the moment, around30 FM stations are spread across the country, often supported by evan-gelical churches. In order to reflect the new nation’s ethnic pluralism,many programmes are broadcast in local languages like Dinka, Nuer,Didinga or Bari as well as English and the local Arabic.Miraya FM offers the widest national coverage. The state-run SouthSudan Radio and the Catholic Radio Network operate via a network ofnine local radio stations each and cover the most populated areas of thecountry, such as Juba, Malakal and Wau. On the occasion of the first an-niversary of independence, the Sudan Radio Service changed its nameto Eye Radio. The station is funded by USAID and broadcasts from thecapital but plans to expand its services to the other nine states in SouthSudan. Additionally international radio broadcasts, like the BBC WorldService English, the Voice of America and Radio Omdurman, are alsowidely heard. There are also a number of more local, community-basedradio stations such as Maridi FM in Western Equatoria, Grace FM inCentral Equatoria and Radio Jonglei; although generally these stationsare not heard much beyond the range of their transmitters.Newspapers are less common in South Sudan. The majority of theprinted press is in Juba and is read mainly by South Sudanese politicians,opinion leaders and intellectuals. Hardcopies are sold by mobile vendors;there are no kiosks or shops. The price of a newspaper varies between oneand three South Sudanese pounds and the circulation figures oscillatebetween around 1,000 and 7,000 copies per edition.One of the best known newspapers is the daily, The Citizen, the onlypaper in South Sudan that owns its own printing press outside ofgovernment owned presses. This is a major asset, especially consideringthat other newspapers either have to print in Khartoum - as the bi-weeklyJuba Post does- or in Nairobi, Kenya or Kampala, Uganda; the bi-weeklySudan Mirror and the weekly Southern Eye do this.It is also difficult to know exactly how many titles are currentlyavailable on the newspaper market. In late 2012, at least a dozennewspapers were sold on the street. This included The ChristianTimes, The Juba Monitor (known as Khartoum Monitor pre-secession)and Al Maseer, the first Arabic language newspaper in the country.Apart from that, three glossy magazines are available in some localsupermarkets: She magazine with a female focus, the lifestylepublication Yam Life and Gurtong Focus, which concentrateson political issues.“Journalists oftenhold the governmentaccountable for thingswithout checkingthe facts.”As for online news, although some media outlets update their web-sites with news – for example, Radio Miraya and The Citizen - internetpenetration is still very low in South Sudan. This is due to high in-stallation costs, low transfer rates and, once more, illiteracy. Frequentpower outages are also a problem.The power outages also impact television broadcasts which meansthat these are also in a fairly early stage of development. If South Su-danese want local TV, they have the following options. The state-runSouth Sudan Television, which, according to programme director You-sif Michael Dafalla, is still very poorly developed. Or they can switchto Citizen Television, the country’s first private TV station, whichstarted broadcasting in November 2012.All of this indicates that South Sudan’s media landscape is still in motion.“Radio is a very traditional medium in South Sudan. But in the long term,we need television, the internet and other modern means of communi-cation,” states Nhial Bol, editor-in-chief of The Citizen and the directorof Citizen Television. Bol is convinced that these new forms of media areon the rise in South Sudan. However, whether the politicians running theworld’s youngest country keep their word and turn South Sudan into abeacon of democracy in the region, complete with a free and professionalpress, still remains to be seen.“In the long term,we need television,internet and othermodern meansof communication.”
  6. 6. 71. the media sectorin South Sudan1.1 infrastructure“We have very great hopes for the media in South Sudan, becausewe believe that the media are the fourth estate. Accountability ofthe government to the public can only be achieved through themedia.” This is how Joy Kwaje, an MP for the ruling Sudan People’sLiberation Movement (SPLM) and Chairwoman of the Informationand Culture Committee in the Legislative Assembly of the Republicof South Sudan, characterized expectations for the budding mediasector in South Sudan. Kwaje was speaking as part of an interviewconducted during the Media & Makers: Juba conference late in 2012.However, the South Sudanese media still have to overcome manyobstacles before they can fulfil these expectations. Widespreadilliteracy, lack of a skilled workforce and lack of resources, aninadequate energy and transport infrastructure and one of theworld’s weakest economies are just some of the challenges mediaoutlets in South Sudan face currently. So it’s hardly surprising thateconomic sustainability is of paramount interest to the executiveshelming the country’s newspapers, magazines and radio and televi-sion stations.As Alfred Taban, editor-in-chief of The Juba Monitor put it: “In Khar-toum, our main problem was government interference but in Jubathere are no printing presses”.The fact that most South Sudanese newspapers, apart from The Cit-izen, are printed in Khartoum in Sudan, Kenya or Uganda and thenbrought to Juba by air or road speaks volumes about the malaise of theSouth Sudanese print sector. And the situation is made worse by thelack of coordination between newspapers in Juba, which leaves TheCitizen’s own printing press underutilized.For radio stations it’s far easier to reach an audience, especially asmany of South Sudan’s radio stations broadcast in local languagessuch as Dinka, Nuer, Bari, and Acholi in addition to English and JubaArabic. Nonetheless operating the stations is costly and attractingadvertisers is difficult, especially in rural areas. Successful stations areusually supported by international donor organizations. For exampleRadio Miraya, the radio station with the greatest reach and largestnumber of listeners, is operated by the United Nations Mission inSouth Sudan in partnership with the Swiss Fondation Hirondelle.Meanwhile Radio Miraya’s competitor, Eye Radio, is supportedby USAID.The unintended side effect of this support is that home grownstations face stiff competition from the donor-supported onesand find it even harder to establish themselves in the market.In the case of Radio Miraya this is exacerbated by the fact that thestation occupies broad swathes of the FM spectrum, while otherfrequencies have been licensed for broadcast but are not actuallybeing used.1.2. sources of incomeDependence on a single source of finance - often international donormoney - is not limited to radio. The New Nation, a newspaper foundedin 2011, is financed by the Belgian government. Printed in full colourand boasting a professional website, The New Nation raises the barfor other print publications in South Sudan. Few newspapers andmagazines can survive on advertising revenue and sales alone. Andeven if they do, they’re often reliant on a small number of institutionaladvertisers, such as United Nations’ agencies, government agenciesor NGOs.Media executives are keenly aware of this problem but often lackthe means to diversify their sources of income. This diversificationwould enable them to manage the transition to a business model withmultiple revenue streams, rather than the current model where theyare dependent on a single source of revenue. The latter also severelylimits media outlets’ ability to tap into new markets and broaden theirproduct portfolio.”In Khartoum, our mainproblem was governmentinterference – in Juba thereare no printing presses.”At Juba’s Media & Makers conference, different financing modelsand their inherent advantages and disadvantages were discussed atlength by participants. These included, among others, representativesof the newspapers The Citizen, Juba Monitor and Southern Eye, thewomen’s magazine She, radio stations Jonglei Radio and Eye Radioand the television station, Citizen TV. They explained that grants gavethem “peace of mind” because of the steady cash flow. However theyalso said that grants were not sustainable in the long term and, infact, that they were detrimental to creativity. One participant comparedthe relationship between donor and recipient to “a father who spoilshis son”.Several participants mentioned that their media outlets also receivedirregular cash injections from private investors to keep them afloat.However this could hardly be regarded as a sustainable businessmodel, if one considers that in most cases the return to investorswill be marginal at best. Newspapers face the additional problem thatthe marketplace in which they operate is severely limited and thathigher circulation does not necessarily equal higher profits; this isbecause the cover price does not contribute significantly to a newspa-per’s financingand economicsustainabilityin South SudanThomas Kochand Julian Kücklich
  7. 7. 8In regard to advertising revenue, the participants mentioned disadvantages such as their audiences’ lack of awareness in regard toadvertising, ethical constraints and concerns about corporate influence on their editorial content. Brigitte Sins of She magazine addedthat companies in South Sudan were often unaware of the benefitsof advertising. Participants believed that advertising could lead to eco-nomic stability and a long-term increase in quality, provided that themarket kept growing, became more completive and provided potentialadvertisers. Eric Wakabi of The Southern Eye added that, “becausemany businesses are setting up, they need to advertise - and this isa good young market”.1.3. case study: The HeroThe Hero, a newspaper started in 2011 by a group of young journalistswith the assistance of a private investor, provides an informative casestudy. Bongiri Peter Ladu, one of The Hero’s co-founders, outlined thebrief history of the newspaper in an interview, stressing that the lackof trained journalists was a problem initially but that they were ableto tackle it by training their own staff. “The Hero was a newspaperthat everybody liked,” he said. “The name alone gave you courage,it was beautifully designed and the content was very good.”“We want to promote demo-cracy, equality, and justice.But who supports us?”Ladu also felt that in the lead-up to independence, the climate becamemore favourable for media: “In 2010 when elections were held, bothgovernments realized the importance of the media. They started chang-ing their attitudes toward the media and started to release [more] infor-mation.” However, he believed censorship, whether direct or indirect,still posed a problem. “The conflict led to suspicion between the twonations and both governments began to censor information. But as thisconflict is being resolved, things will get better,” Ladu concludes.It was the paper’s unsustainable economic situation that eventually ledto its demise. Because the newspaper was financed by a private investor,it was not easy to keep going. After secession, Ladu explained that TheHero was no longer able to be printed in Khartoum. But switching to aprinting company in Kampala had raised costs so much, that they’d hadto close down. “We want to promote democracy, equality, and justice,”a clearly frustrated Ladu said. “But who supports us?”media financingand economicsustainabilityin South Sudan“Many radio stationsand newspapers don’tknow why theirlisteners or readersprefer them over others.You need informationto make decisions.”
  8. 8. 92. economic sustainability2.1. supplementary sources of incomeOne way out of the dilemma of dependency would include diversi-fying media outlets’ sources of income. This could be achieved byacquiring new advertisers by offering special rates and new adver-tising formats. These could include advertorials and other paid-forcontent such as company portraits. Obviously this is a sensitive matteras readers and listeners must be able to distinguish between editorialcontent and advertising. However, provided the boundary between thetwo is not blurred, it might provide some cash-flow without damagingcredibility.Community journalism also has the opportunity to tap into new ad-vertising markets by attracting small businesses. This allows smallerpublications to service the niche markets that larger media outletsdo not. By cooperating and sharing resources local media outletscan thrive and diversify the media “ecosystem”, increasing its overallstability.Equally promising is the possibility to branch out into other commer-cial ventures, such as sales and services. Newspapers in Europe – forexample, Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung and the Guardian in theUK - now routinely offer products such as CDs, DVDs and books, aswell as services such as dating agencies and ticket sales for culturalevents. They also organize lectures and dinners, capitalizing on net-works created by their staff. It is unclear to what extent these modelscould be emulated in South Sudan but the high level of interest inthe Introduction to Media Marketing segment at the Juba conferenceseems to indicate that this may well be a viable option.This does requires media outlets to position themselves clearly withregard to target groups and advertisers. They would need to generateunique selling propositions and highlight the advantages for audi-ences as well as for advertisers and agencies. Currently, the SouthSudanese media sector lacks a coherent structure and there are signif-icant barriers to entry for international advertisers. This is also due tothe fact that there is hardly any market research on different media’saudiences in South Sudan.2.2. audience researchPeter Biar Ajak, Deputy Country Director for the International GrowthCentre in South Sudan, characterizes the status quo regarding audi-ence research in South Sudan succinctly. “Many radio stations andnewspapers are dependent largely, or even completely, on advertise-ment but they don’t know why advertisers choose them rather thantheir competitors. They have not asked those kinds of questions. Atthe same time, they don’t know why their listeners or readers prefertheir newspaper or radio station over others. You need informationto make decisions.”Considering that the entry of international advertisers into the SouthSudanese market is just a matter of time, it is crucial for the country’smedia to prepare for this eventuality by conducting audience researchand then positioning themselves in the market accordingly. Mediashould also publish realistic and transparent data about circulationand readership as those figures can be used as the basis for advertis-ing rates.“Accountability ofthe government tothe public can onlybe achieved throughthe media.”Among media executives in South Sudan, there is insufficientknowledge about the role of media planning, the importance ofaudience research, research methods and data analysis. While manydifferent organizations provide training for journalists in SouthSudan, albeit often in a superficial and intermittent fashion, hardlyanyone offers training in media marketing, business developmentor market research.However there is no doubt that these are the skills media executives re-quire to create and maintain financially sustainable media outlets in anincreasingly competitive market where they encounter not just domes-tic competitors but, increasingly, international ones as well. While theyface the same problems as media outlets in Europe and North America,where newspaper circulation figures are steadily declining, they do nothave to repeat the mistakes that have been made elsewhere. For exam-ple, giving content away for free may not be a good idea, consideringthat very few international newspapers have managed to recover lostsales revenue through online advertising. If South Sudan’s media exec-utives are provided with the required skills and knowledge, the future ofthe country’s media sector may not be as bleak as the current economicclimate financingand economicsustainabilityin South Sudan“Businesses needto advertise, andthis is a good youngmarket.”
  9. 9. 101.working conditionsfor journalistsAs media houses around the world struggle to make their balancesheets add up, the media sector in South Sudan and Sudan is noexception. But as well as living on the breadline, journalists attendingthe Media & Makers: Juba conference outlined a further unwieldy setof daily obstacles.Most of the group of 30 reporters, which included print, radio andTV specialists, combine their journalistic work with other work, publicrelations, study, sales or even working as drivers or guards.Journalists from right around South Sudan said they were oftenlimited in topics they could cover: subjects like the security forces,key politicians and corruption cases were generally viewed as out ofbounds. Sudanese reporters faced similar constraints.Writing balanced news reports was also difficult given many SouthSudanese journalists’ piecemeal education during the decades of warthat rocked Sudan. To this day professional training is scarce.Government scepticism hampered journalists in several ways. Free-lance journalists were unable to cover official events because presscards from one of the media houses were required. Staff reporters,meanwhile, have to weigh up the consequences of what, and how, theyreport. Would-be citizen reporters are also unable to take photographsfreely, given widespread fears about northern spies.Official information is scarce in South Sudan; national statistics areeither unavailable or hard to obtain. As discussed during the confer-ence, alternative information often comes the press departments ofnon-governmental organisations, or, failing that, by quoting statisticsfrom other media reports.In a bid to avoid problems with the security forces, journalists wroteunder pseudonyms or hid behind a general staff by-line. In light ofthis, it is hardly surprising that in 2012/13 South Sudan droppedfrom rank 111 to 124 in the Reporters Without Borders World PressFreedom Index – one of the biggest falls internationally. This was putinto stark perspective by the murder of online columnist, Isaiah DingAbraham Chan Awuol. His murder was viewed by many as an attemptto silence a powerful, critical voice.the challengesfacing SouthSudaneseand SudanesejournalistsJess Smee
  10. 10. 112.from reportersto entrepreneursAgainst this backdrop of specific local issues, prizewinning journal-ist and novelist, Tolu Ogunlesi, spoke to the group on the subject of“technologies, tools and business models”. He outlined the broadinternational trends affecting journalists and suggested how workingpractices could evolve to fit the faster-moving, more globalised worldof online journalism and social media reporting.“Journalism is a profession in flux,” Ogunlesi said. “We need toensure we have the right tools.”This worldwide transition is evident on the newsstand, with publi-cations increasingly focusing on their online publications and evenscrapping print altogether, as the US magazine Newsweek did inlate 2012.Economic pressures are a daily reality for journalists in South Sudan,where the economy has been on a downhill slide since all-import-ant oil income was halted in January 2012. Newspapers struggle tofind revenue sources and sometimes cannot afford to go to press forextended periods. Journalists meanwhile can go without payment formonths on end - hence the need for alternative incomes.Another big problem is the limited circulation of newspapers. Thebest-selling publication, The Citizen, has a daily circulation of notmore than 7,000 copies across Juba and a few other states. This tokenreadership is linked to economic malaise and the nation’s high illitera-cy rates; these are some of the worst on the planet with just onein four people estimated to be able to read. Future models discussedat the conference included giving away free copies of papers in orderto attract more advertising. Meanwhile, a focus on radio makes senseso that media outlets can reach out to more people, regardless of liter-acy, in their local language.For freelancers struggling to earn a living, Ogunlesi suggested work-ing as a small business. Successful journalists need to brand them-selves and boost their networks. Competition is rife but a reporter canbest develop a unique niche by having a specialist subject, known as abeat. Correspondents with in-depth knowledge on, for example, the oilbusiness or climate change in South Sudan would have a unique sell-ing point. Such reporting would also help develop a less stereotypedportrayal of South Sudan in the international arena.the challengesfacing SouthSudaneseand Sudanesejournalists“Journalism is aprofession in flux.We need to ensurewe have the righttools.”3.looking elsewherefor inspirationSouth Sudanese journalists also need to track the broader Africanmedia landscape. Following the news flow from neighbouringcountries and international sources enables reporters to keep up-to-date with media developments and style, as well as giving them theperspective to identify pan-African trends and new markets for theirfreelance copy.This international comparison is also invaluable to readers of TheNiles website, who, according to Google analytics, are spread over180 countries. The IP addresses show that The Niles readers includeUnited Nations agencies, universities including Ivy League, Oxbridgeand others across the globe. It also spans government agencies, espe-cially in the US, UK and Norway and think tanks, including ChathamHouse.Although the internet has challenged traditional media fundingmodels, it also offers journalists access to new networks and sourcesof support. With the click of a mouse, journalists can access detailsof fellowships, journalism data and other helpful tools. Two of TheNiles correspondents have also had abuses publicised by internationalmedia advocacy networks including Reporters without Borders andthe Committee to Protect Journalists.As the traditional practice of journalism transforms, the Juba confer-ence highlighted the need for full disclosure – that is, a journalist withexperience consulting for pharmaceutical companies needs to alerthis or her editor to this and declare this interest at the bottom of anynews report on the industry. There are many ethically grey areas buthonesty and full disclosure serve to inform readership and the editorof the reporter’s background and previous work.Specifically in South Sudan, the development of media laws and thefurther development of the journalists’ union are both key tools toprotect journalists. The official union is a relatively recent develop-ment. The Union of Journalists of South Sudan dates from 2008. Pos-itive steps like this need to be reinforced in the future if journalists areto be able to report freely on the development of their young nation.
  11. 11. South Sudaneseprint publications
  12. 12. 151. the digital medialandscapeSo far the internet revolution has largely passed South Sudan by. Ac-cording to a survey conducted by Fondation Hirondelle in 2007, only7 percent of respondents used the internet. While this figure is likelyto have risen in the meantime, coverage still remains low and high il-literacy rates are an additional obstacle to internet use. Where internetconnections are available, for example, in Juba, connections speedsare slow and frequent power outages are an additional hindrance.Nevertheless a number of media outlets, such as Radio Miraya, TheJuba Post and She magazine, have their own websites. In some cases,their main purpose seems to be simply the establishment of an onlinepresence rather than for dissemination of news and information.At the time of writing in January 2013, the top news item on TheNew Nation’s website dated from October 16, 2012. Other newspa-pers’ websites, such as The Southern Eye’s, have no datelines.“Due to the cultureof sharing on theinternet, it’s very hardto go the source.”In addition to official news websites, there is a small number of polit-ical blogs; the group blog PaanLuel Wël, written by South Sudaneseexpatriates in the United States and other countries, is a prominentexample. Updated daily, PaanLuel Wël features news analysis andopinion pieces as well as poetry, petitions to government officials andan overview of news items related to South Sudan. However it hasonly very limited reach in the country itself.John Penn de Ngong’s blog, Weakleaks, is one of the few blogs main-tained by a resident of South Sudan. However, as de Ngong pointedout, news items often find their way into the country via the blogsmaintained by expatriates so these too have an important functionin the South Sudanese media landscape.As in many other African countries, mobile network coverage inSouth Sudan is much more widespread than internet access. Thereare five mobile phone service providers who maintain a total of 317aerials in the country, the majority of which are located in the statesof Central Equatoria and Upper Nile. Remote areas such as Jongleiand Northern Bahr el-Ghazar have significantly fewer aerials.Considering this state of affairs, perhaps it comes as no surprise thatnew technologies play an almost negligible role in South Sudan’smedia sector. Apart from NGO-operated offerings such as The SudanTribune or MICT’s The Niles, there is hardly any content producedexclusively for the internet, hardly any multimedia journalism, hardlyany journalistic use of social media and hardly any use of onlinecommunication for feedback, in an interactive sense, or as a tool forcitizen journalism.However, there are indications that this is changing. For example, thecitizen news outlet, NubaReports, has become an important regionalplayer. Mobile phone footage of recent clashes between civilians andsecurity forces in Wau was aired by the international news service,Al Jazeera, based in Qatar.2. case study:WeakLeaksWeakleaks is an example of a news outlet that straddles the deepdivide between South Sudan’s “pre-market agrarian society” (PeterBiar Ajak) and the small digital elite that has managed to establishitself in Juba. The blog’s producer, De Ngong, is keenly aware of thecontradictions of the situation. During a discussion about the pro-posed media laws in South Sudan, he questioned whether the sameregulations would apply to traditional media and new media likeFacebook and Twitter.The eventual reply given by Joy Kwaje, an MP for the ruling SudanPeople’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and Chairwoman of the In-formation and Culture Committee in the Legislative Assembly of theRepublic of South Sudan, indicated another problem: local politicians’lack of familiarity with these media. Kwaje had assumed they wouldall be covered by the same law.Of course, it is impossible to regulate social media in the same wayas traditional mass media. The problem of rumour and slander thatcomes via social networks makes this clear – and it is a problem thatalso affects South Sudan, where images of crimes allegedly committedin Juba cast local authorities in a dubious light.De Ngong, who has been harassed by the government for his criticalposts on Weakleaks, knows this from experience. “Due to the cultureof sharing on the internet, it’s very hard to get to the source,” he said.“This raises questions about the legislation of defamation on socialmedia.”When he started blogging, he says he did so in order to “hide frompersecution”, after quitting his job as an editor at The Southern Eye.He says he was inspired by PaanLuel Wël and that other bloggers havebeen inspired by him in turn. There is a constant exchange within thethe role ofdigital mediain South SudanJulian Kücklich
  13. 13. 16small group of people who experiment with digital media in SouthSudan. When these “rucksack reporters” started out, they oftensquatted in the bar in hotels like the Juba Grand because they pro-vided reliable access to electricity. Quaint as this sounds, the impactthey had was profound: de Ngong has received death threats becauseof his writing.The hotel eventually proved hostile and management there removedwall sockets to prevent the bloggers from hanging around. This is whythose working in South Sudan’s digital media eventually founded theAssociation of Facebook, Twittersphere and Blogosphere Operatorsof South Sudan (or AFTABOSS), which intends to pool members’resources to provide reliable internet access and electricity. Much hopefor the future of new media in South Sudan rests on this example ofgrassroots collaboration. If others follow the example of de Ngongand AFTABOSS, it is likely that blogging and citizen journalism willcontinue to become more established in South Sudan.3. the future of digitalmedia in South SudanIt is possible that in the relatively near future, South Sudan willstart to overcome its problems with infrastructure and that internetaccess - and particularly mobile internet access - will become bothwidespread and affordable. As the case of other African countries,most notably Kenya, shows, this can pave the way for a host of otherthings, such as mobile payments, citizen journalism and increasedcitizen participation in political processes. Which is why it seems en-tirely possible that digital media will not only challenge the businessmodel of traditional media in South Sudan but it could also chal-lenge their position as the ones who set the agenda, a role they havealways held up until now.Dickens Olewe works at The Star, a Nairobi-based newspaper, andhe is also a member of the Nairobi chapter of Hacks/Hackers, anetwork of journalists and technologists, who work collaborativelyon new ways of spreading the news. “Technologists are becominga key part of the future of journalism, they employ their skills inbuilding apps that allow users to consume content in a simple andat times in a fun way,” he said. “The Star has just built a health appusing open data. I think we have succeeded in proving that the re-lationship between a journalist and a technologist is important andexciting in the newsroom, and especially in data journalism.”“South Sudan is facing different challenges, the infrastructureis not well laid out, media freedom is not guaranteed and the jour-nalists have a difficult working environment,” Olewe continued.“Despite these challenges it’s encouraging that the media is alreadyemploying simple but innovative ideas that are bringing citizens’voices into the process of news gathering. Radio stations are hold-ing local meet-ups where they record citizen voices and broadcastthem to the regions. This means that there’s a medium to projectthe voices of the people, just like citizens around Africa are usingFacebook, Twitter and SMS to share their stories.”“Technologists arebecoming a key partof the future ofjournalism.”While there are still huge obstacles to widespread internet use,Olewe highlighted the potential of innovations such as Speak toTweet – a service that allows Twitter users to call a phone numberand leave a message, which is then published on Twitter; it wasinvented to circumvent interruptions to internet services. As Olewesaid, this “might be a possibility for South Sudan, considering thehigh illiteracy rate and that the majority of the population lives inrural areas”.Initiatives such as the African News Innovation Challenge, whichfunds ideas that advance journalism and digital news gathering inAfrica, also raise hopes for finding solutions to the problems SouthSudan’s digital media faces and for developing ways to produce,enrich and distribute news that are particularly well-suited to thecountry.the role ofdigital mediain South Sudan“South Sudan is apre-market agrariansociety”
  14. 14. 171. legal situationMedia regulation is one of the key factors on the road to establishinga professional and responsible media sector in South Sudan. How-ever regulating the media in a way that is neither too liberal, nor toooppressive, has proven difficult. The so-called media bills - that is, theRight to Access to Information Bill (no. 54), the Broadcasting Corpo-ration Bill (no. 53), and the Media Authority Bill (no. 52) - have beenstuck in parliament since 2006.At the opening of the Media & Makers: Juba, South Sudan’s Ministerof Information and Broadcasting, Benjamin Barnaba Marial, declaredthat his country would be the eleventh African country to pass anaccess to information law. However this has yet to happen.Considering South Sudan’s history, the need to pass a law thatbreaks with the past appears even more urgent. “Prior to indepen-dence we were operating with the laws of Sudan which were veryoppressive, limiting the freedom of information and the freedomof the press,” Joy Kwaje, an MP for the ruling Sudan People’sLiberation Movement (SPLM) and Chairwoman of the Informationand Culture Committee in the Legislative Assembly of the Repub-lic of South Sudan, said. “So, as a new republic we felt that it wasimperative to replace those oppressive laws with progressive anddemocratic laws.”At Juba’s Media & Makers conference, Kwaje got into a heated debatewith Edetaen Ojo, the Nigerian Director of the African Platform onAccess to Information, and a number of local journalists about theproposed media bills. In particular the discussion around the Rightto Access to Information Bill was divisive.Kwaje began by outlining the individual articles of the law and ex-plaining how they applied to journalists. She talked about the processof requesting information as well as the role of the officials; theseinclude a commissioner of information as well as information officersin individual branches of government.2. criticismThe criticism raised by Ojo concerned aspects of the Bill, suchas: “every citizen shall have the right of access to information”. Hepointed out that this doesn’t cover residents without citizen status andhe questioned the provision that allowed the president to appoint thecommissioner of information without parliamentary consent. He alsoasked for clarification regarding responses to requests for informa-tion, suggesting this be reduced from a response within 20 workingdays to seven working days.Kwaje’s response seemed to suggest that these points had alreadybeen debated at length and that some of them would be raised again.However, she also made it clear that some suggestions, such as thereduction of the time limit for responses, were simply not feasible,given South Sudan’s current economic and political position. Kwajealso pointed out that there were provisions for the maintenance andpublication of records and sanctions for non-compliance as well asparliamentary oversight through the Committee of Information.“We felt that it wasimperative to replaceoppressive laws withprogressive and demo-cratic laws.”Meanwhile local journalists protested against the government’s plansto charge a “nominal fee” for accessing official information. They fearedthis would allow corrupt civil servants to take bribes and would detercash-strapped reporters from requesting information.In the ensuing debate, it also became evident that the journalists pres-ent were not familiar with the Access to Information Bill. It also be-came clear that there was a considerable lack of knowledge regardingjournalistic ethics, particularly in regard to defamatory reporting. Asa result they were reprimanded by Alfred Taban, editor-in-chief of TheJuba Monitor, who said that he wanted “all journalists to be concernedabout the media laws because those are their laws. They have not beenas involved as I would have liked them to be”.3. reconciling governmentand the Fourth EstateJudging by the debate between policy makers and journalists, itquickly became clear that there is still a deep mistrust between thegovernment and media in South Sudan.While some journalists said that it was easier to get access to thosein power in South Sudan, many expressed the view that mostly it’sjust difficult to find out where information is kept and how to access it.access toinformation andmedia ethicsin South SudanJulian Kücklich
  15. 15. 18The blogger John Penn de Ngong, of the site Weakleaks, added that,in his experience, bureaucracy was a major obstacle. According toKwaje, this would be addressed by the proposed bill because it willenshrine the right to access to information in the law.Nevertheless such mistrust has far-reaching consequences. Hardlyany of the journalists present had participated in public hearingsheld as part of the legislative process for the media bills and itseemed imperative that the government of South Sudan regaintheir trust. Otherwise media regulation is unlikely to have the in-tended effects.MP Kwaje asserts that “accountability of the government to thepublic can only be achieved through the media”. But this requiresa continued effort by both sides to re-establish a working relationshippreviously damaged by slanderous reporting by the journalists andharassment and censorship by the government.Editor-in-chief Taban stressed the role of legislation in overcomingthis mistrust: “In this country, many government departments donot release information. Maybe in order to shield the corrupt elementsin the government or to prevent the exposure of malpractice,” hespeculated. “That is the reason the Access to Information bill is soimportant.”“All journalists shouldbe concerned about themedia laws, because thoseare their laws.”Bonjeri Peter Ladu, one of the founders of the now defunct news­paper, The Hero, added that while access to information hadimproved since 2006, it was a hard-won victory. “You could notgo to a minister or a director and ask for an interview,” he noted.“People would say: I am not allowed to give interviews. But wekept insisting, although we were told to go away, and even accusedof being spies.”Speaking about the role of investigative journalism, Eric Wakabi ofThe Southern Eye explained why it was important to find the commonground between media ethics and media legislation. “If you are pro-fessional, it can be good journalism because you are fighting for thepeople, you want information to be out there, you are fighting corrup-tion, impunity, whatever it is,” he said. “But how are you getting yourinformation? That can be a problem. With investigative journalism,it’s funny … you might do unethical things.”Clearly, South Sudanese journalists struggle with the same problemsthat journalists all around the world struggle with. This quandaryaround media ethics is also being exacerbated by the rise of new me-dia, with the culture of sharing and the danger of information goingviral before it has been proven true.“With investigativejournalism, it’s funny …you might do unethicalthings.”While social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, are still not verywide spread in South Sudan due to low internet penetration andilliteracy, many journalists are already concerned with the legal statusof Twitter sources and the prosecution of Facebook libel. In this realm,one of the other big dangers South Sudan’s media law faces is thatparts of it will be outdated even before they are passed into law.This is yet another reason journalists should get involved in thelegislative process before the bill’s final reading in 2013. As Kwajesaid during the debate at Juba’s Media & Makers conference: “thedoor is not closed to suggestions and debate”.access toinformation andmedia ethicsin South Sudan“Every citizen shallhave the right ofaccess to information”
  16. 16. 211. open sourceand developmentThe concept of “openness” has established itself in a range of waysover the last decade – ranging from open-source software to opendata, open access and open design, to open innovation and eventhe concept of open governance. What used to be the domain ofprogrammers and computer scientists now informs the debates heldby architects, city planners, policy makers, designers, academics,teachers and, of course, journalists.In regard to South Sudan, the idea of the open source paradigm hasbeen suggested as one way that the country could help itself overcomethe many challenges it faces. The #OSJUBA conference, which tookplace in Berlin in June 2012, was part of this and brought togethertechnologists, international development economists and researchers,cultural activists, artists and software developers to discuss how toapply the means and methodologies of the open source, accessibletechnologies and hacktivist communities to post-conflict developmentin places like South Sudan.A capital city can define the contours of a country as a whole and#OSJUBA asked whether Juba could become the world’s first opensource capital city. The debate that grew out of #OSJUBA and becamethe ‘Media & Makers: Juba 2012’ event eventually broadened, and thediscussion centred on how open source could be used in the countryas a whole.One of the aims of ‘Media & Makers: Juba 2012’ was to increasetransparency and mobility, enhance communication, foster theutilization of local knowledge and encourage collaborative learning.Above all, it aimed to make government institutions, trade, educationand the media more sustainable and responsive to the needs ofcitizens. From the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) in jumpstarting literacy and education to citizen empowerment and knowledgebuilding initiatives, there were plenty of practical examples of howthis can be achieved. In conjunction with the increasing access tosocial media, mobile and open technologies, open source solution,based on sustainability and collaboration are being implementedworldwide - even in regions of post-conflict or post-crisis transformation.Another aim of ‘Media & Makers’ was to find out to what extentopen source methodologies could be used to increase mediasustainability and to help create what UNESCO identifies as strongand independent Knowledge Societies – this is part of the UnitedNations’ Millennium Development Goals, to which South Sudanis a signatory.2. open source softwareand intellectual propertyDuring a discussion of new technologies at ‘Media & Makers’,Dickens Olewe, who works at The Star, a Nairobi-based newspaper,and who is also a member of the Nairobi chapter of Hacks/Hackers,a network of journalists and technologists, who work collaborativelyon new ways of spreading the news, told journalists about his effortsto establish open source software in The Star’s newsroom. Olewewanted to encourage them to follow his example.However, open source often comes into conflict with an author’sautomatic intellectual property rights. Still, considering that SouthSudan has no native intellectual property rights legislation or otherapplicable legislation, this appears to be a moot point. As a countrythat currently holds observer status at the UN World IntellectualProperty Organization, South Sudan is unlikely to prosecute anyonefor copyright infringement anytime soon. In the context of theborderless flow of information and content, this scenario placesa particular responsibility on authors and journalists to identifythe ways in which their work can be consumed and spread, andto claim attribution for their work. Open source itself can providethe tools for journalists and newsrooms to network and to dis-seminate what they produce – and it can do so at less cost andwith greater freedom to customize.“Creative Commonscan offer a way outof the ‘licensing trap’”When it comes to intellectual property in South Sudan, an alternativeto traditional copyright agreements, such as Creative Commons,could be a significant tool for the empowerment of media producersthere. Creative Commons is a global non-profit organization thatseeks to share alternatives to existing and often outdated copyrightand license laws.As Dorothy Gordon, Director-General of Ghana’s AdvancedInformation Technology Institute, pointed out, Creative Commonscan offer a way out of the “licensing trap” that many journalists andmedia businesses unwittingly stumble into, due to lack of experiencewith intellectual property legislation.Creative Commons offers a way of fine-tuning how one shares digitalcontent, but without giving up protection; it allows creators to choosea license that states specifically for which purposes their intellectualproperty can be used and for which purposes it can’t. This is particularlyhelpful when it comes to international licensing knowledgeand sustainablemedia inSouth SudanJulian Kücklich(contributions by Stephen Kovatsand Jodi Rose)
  17. 17. 223. open dataOpen data was another much discussed topic at ‘Media & Makers:Juba 2012’. Open data is not exactly open source; rather, it ismaterial in the public domain that’s often carried by open sourcesystems. Open data can be professionally accrued or it can beinformation resulting from public input and interaction. Thereare a number of examples where open data has been used success-fully by media, one of the most prominent of which is UK news-paper, the Guardian’s data journalism initiative - this has producedsome impressive pieces of reporting, particularly in collaborationwith the WikiLeaks site.In a development context, Ushahidi - a non-profit tech companyspecializing in the development of free and open source softwarefor collecting information, visualization and interactive mapping– has been leading the way in using publicly sourced information.Often they’re doing this in conjunction with real-time data gatheredon mobile phones to map rapidly evolving events for effective crisisresponse, to help counter injustice through eyewitness testimonyor to illustrate broad reaching effects of issues that are pertinentto any number of peer communities worldwide. They’ve done thiseffectively in the Haiti and Japan calamities, in efforts to help inde-pendently monitor elections in India, Kenya or the US.Where Ushahidi may provide highly useful mappings of bothcomplex statistical data and user generated, or crowd sourced, infor-mation, platforms such as ojoVoz by ‘Media & Makers’ participantEugenio Tisselli from Mexico aimed at lowering the technical hurdlesassociated with literacy, language and accessibility that are oftengreat challenges to using open data.Using a simple non-text based mobile app, ojoVoz provides aplatform that helps communities easily create and publish collaborativestories, observations and documentaries on the web. ojoVoz, whichhas been used successfully in projects such as Tanzania’s Sauti yawakulima (voice of the farmers), in which farming communitiescreate an online knowledge base about the effects of climate change,the system is now being assessed to see if it can be used in SouthSudan’s Warrap State a as a mobile tool for community exchangesand crisis dialogue.Also of relevance to South Sudan is Open Oil, a non-profit consul-tancy, which tries to make information about the oil industry publicand to encourage dialogue between the oil industry, governmentsand ordinary citizens about oil production and consumption. Theyhave produced a series of oil almanacs, covering Libya, Iraq, Ghanaand Niger among others, and they also recently complemented thatwith a 147-page South Sudan Oil Almanac. This was published undera Creative Commons license and provides the most comprehensiveoverview of the South Sudanese oil industry to date.Open data and open government initiatives have sprung up acrossthe globe not just in North America and Europe, but also in Brazil,India, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Kenya. The latter few have met withmixed success - which is hardly surprising considering that someof these countries have entrenched traditions of secrecy. In a critiqueof Saudi Arabia’s open data initiative on the NextGov website, whichfocuses on government and technology, US journalist Joseph Markshighlights the disparity between the wealth of data about oil productionand the complete lack of information about “women’s access toeducation or the working conditions of foreign labourers” there.Ushahidi has been leadingthe way in using publiclyavailable dataGordon, who is also a key member of the Free and Open SourceFoundation for Africa, sees open source and open data as essentialelements in both developmental economics and the empowermentof African civil society. Gordon spoke about an example from her owncountry in which crowd sourcing and open data were used to increasethe number of girls going to school. The absence of sanitary facilitiesor the idea that they would have to share facilities with males hadoften deterred females from attending school. After the data abouttoilets in schools was published, and the correlation to attendancestatistics was made, the Ghanaian board of education took measuresto address the gender imbalance in the education system, by providingproper dedicated sanitary facilities for the girls.Five mobile phone companies operate in South Sudan, and thereis a rapid increase in mobile phone network coverage and penetrationeven across rural areas. The National Bureau of Statistics in SouthSudan has been using Google’s Open Data Kit technology to collectdata and information from local households on a weekly basis. Thisis being done in collaboration with the World Bank. Using electronicsurvey forms sent to a server at the end of each day via the mobilephone network, the resulting data is available in close to real timeand provides much needed information for policy and developmentas well as helps create the cultural narrative of the country. Ostensiblythis information is free and open for anybody to use. However arudimentary electrical grid that relies on diesel generators and aninsecure and weak server infrastructure hamper access to that data.David Chan Thiang, Director of Economic Statistics at the NationalBureau of Statistics (or NBS) says such problems are a majoropen knowledgeand sustainablemedia inSouth Sudan
  18. 18. 23hindrance to the promotion of stable civic structures, because openinformation, data and knowledge have the potential to significantlypromote economic and social development. He says it is a prioritythat servers operate around the clock – and preferably independentlyof the unstable electrical grid. But open source could help here too:Open source hardware and power generation technologies such asthose being developed by the international Open Source Ecologyinitiative could be used, for example, to create a stable, self-sufficientSouth Sudan Server backbone network. A network with, say, oneunit in each state, would allow the NBS to “create and manage ourown intranets – take control of our own servers, to achieve our owngoals in effectively sharing data and other public information.”(David Chan Thiang)4. crowdsourcingand citizen journalismFor all of the above reasons, a lot of work is needed to achieveeven small improvements. In a country like South Sudan, with over60 indigenous languages in addition to English and Juba Arabic,translation is also a major challenge. For many of the larger languagegroups, open or crowd sourced translation – that is, translation bypeer groups or larger number of users - offers a number of solutions.One of the world’s leading citizen media organisations Global Voices,and Kiva, a micro-lending website, have both successfully used crowd-sourced translations. If the considerable South Sudanese diaspora isalso considered, crowd sourced translation can be done in collaborationwith expatriates whose requisite skills and access to technologycomplement local knowledge and the emergent structures withinthe country.Gordon made the point that, “when we’re talking to our own peoplewe must talk in our own language. Open source technology allows forunrestricted adaptability and localization,” she explained. “If it’s allin English, the people need to learn two new languages - that of thetechnology and English. Please, publish in your own language!”The Free and Open Source Foundation for Africa (or FOSSFA) en-courages students throughout Africa to use Open Education Resources,to gain the equivalent of a university degree using free, open sourceresources online. With these, relevant, locally responsive and contex-tualized libraries, databases and information resource centres can becreated in South Sudan - for example, in the fields of adult literacy,hygiene, sanitation, computer literacy and maths. Organizations suchas the Juba-based Community Empowerment for Progress, who areinvolved promoting human rights, democratic principles and free ex-pression, see the application of Open Education Resources, open dataand open source technologies as a key component of their work.The fact that access to information technology in South Sudan is stillvery limited, particularly in rural areas, is also a barrier to entry forcitizen journalists. While the highly centralized media landscapein South Sudan would clearly benefit from more reporting from theperiphery, it is not just the digital but also the cultural divides thatmake it difficult to adopt this model of reporting here. Many discussionsat ‘Media & Makers’ made it clear that South Sudanese journalistsdon’t enjoy contemplating the potential threat to their professionalstatus that citizen journalists might pose. Rather they want improvedaccess to social media and mobile information technologies in orderto boost their own skills. Similar challenges are faced by radio journal-ists in West Africa who implemented open source platforms to linktraditional radio and web media and created the award winning WestAfrica Democracy Radio platform.‘Media & Makers’ participant, journalist Mading Ngor, teamed upwith Sourcefabric, a company building digital, open source newsroomsand platforms for radio, online and print media in order to createan online radio station, streaming 24 hours, seven days, and linkingdiaspora with local South Sudan-based journalists on the New SudanVision platform.5. open governance“The Republic of South Sudan has the potential to become the leaderfor a new political imagination of a more open, more transparentspace in the movement to digital technology,” Philip Thigo, an advisorto Kenya’s Open Government Partnership, said.The concept of open governance has been part of the discourse inEurope and North America since the 1970s; it has fostered numeroustransparency initiatives as well as freedom of information legislation.The Open Government Partnership (or OGP), initiated in 2011 whichnow includes around 60 nations, is a global initiative that applies thephilosophy of open-source to democracies. The OGP aims to secureconcrete commitments from governments to promote transparency,empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologiesto strengthen governance. Relying on elements like open data, opensource models of collaborative enterprise and multi-stakeholder input,Publicizing data abouttoilets in schools ledto an increase in thenumber of girls goingto school.
  19. 19. 24the OGP is rapidly becoming a blueprint for progressive govern-ments across Africa. Helping to provide guidelines for the supportof civic participation and increased access to new technologies forinformation sharing and accountability, the OGP is seen as one wayof giving governments an international peer structure that willsupport capacity- and institution-building – these are key elementsfor South Sudan’s independence and future.A number of ‘Media & Makers’ participants, including Moses SimonSoro, Commissioner of Morobo County, specifically called for moretransparency in government affairs. With a clear intention to makegovernment work better and be accountable to the people, the recentlyappointed Commissioner outlined a number of key objectives foropen government, including:increase transparency to increase trust in the work of branchesof government.ensure people are involved in decision making to improveinformation capacity and effectiveness of all government agencies.adjust policies using the media to gauge people’s view.provide raw, open data so people can extract value out of it,and create innovative services that ultimately benefit citizens.Considering the embryonic state of many government offices,opening up policy making and governance to the broader publicincreases the potential for government efficiency as well as forcitizens’ participation in political processes.Efforts should be focused on providing better access to, and useof, new and open technologies – this should include as broad a rangeof channels for participation as possible, including radio, mobiletelephony, petitions, surveys and public meetings.Much of the debate around open source was new for many andat times difficult to follow. However in general, it was clear that therewas a need for more multi-stakeholder dialogues with local mediaoutlets and civil society organizations, which would allow them toparticipate in the development and implementation of open sourcesystems and strategies in South Sudan.“Fail to capture the commanding heights of technology and yourpolitical efficacy will be of no significance,” Gordon concluded at‘Media & Makers: Juba 2012’. “In the Republic of South Sudan youhave an historical opportunity to be a beacon for other countriesby making very conscious decisions on the technologies you use andhow you use them to strengthen the voice of your people and toenhance the quality of your independence.”open knowledgeand sustainablemedia inSouth Sudan+++++For a full detailed review of the discussions from the Media & Makers:Juba 2012 – Open Knowledge stream, please consult the wiki set up forthis session:
  20. 20. 25video interviewswith conferenceparticipantsDaga Chaplain, Marketing Manager, The Onditi Olewe, Web Administrator, The Star (Nairobi) Wakabi, Managing Director, Southern Peter Ladu, Journalist and Co-founder, The Kwaje, Member of Parliament (SPLM) and and Chairwomanof Information and Culture Committee in the Legislative Assemblyof the Republic of South Biar Ajak, Deputy Country Director for the InternationalGrowth Taban, Editor-in-chief, The Juba & makersis an attempt to chart the common ground between media businessesand the open source movement in Sudan and South Sudan. The forumexplores new solutions for the extraordinary challenges faced by thetwo countries, looks at new ways to make use of existing resources, andexamines new means of participatory media production, innovation, andcollaboration across all sectors of society. It is an opportunity for expertsand media practitioners from South Sudan, (North) Sudan, and otherparts of the world to discuss the future of the media sector and the roleof the open systems /open data movement for the world’s two youngestnations.MEDIA&MAKERS:KHARTOUM2013will take place on May 4th and 5th, 2013 in Khartoum.Information and
  21. 21. expertsPeter Biar Ajak, Interna-tional Growth CentreNhial Bol Aken, The CitizenJacob Akol, AMDISSHon. Dr. Barnaba MarialBenjamin, Deputy Ministerfor Information andBroadcastingJay Cousins,Open Design CityJohn Penn de Ngong,weakleaks.wordpress.comDorothy Gordon,Ghana-India Kofi AnnanCentre of Excellence in ICTCharles Haskins,Fondation HirondelleMark Kaigwa, AfrinnovatorThomas Koch,thomaskochmediaHon. Joy Kwaje,MP (SPLM)Amrit Naresh, OpenOilAsteway Negash, FOSSFATolu Ogunlesi,toluogunlesi.wordpress.comEdetaen Ojo,Media Rights AgendaDickens Onditi Olewe,The StarSeverin Peters, GIZDavid Chan Thiang,National Bureau of StatisticsPhilip Thigo, SODNETEugenio Tisselli,Pompeu Fabra UniversityparticipantsEmmanuel AchahaHassan AhmedJacob AkolBrenda AmmeraalMubarak ArdolAtem Yaak AtemJohn AtemBenson AtingIbrahim AwolMatthew BensonIduol BenySamir BolSinevda CuarothJoseph DaudaDavid De DauCharlton DokiMichael DukuAmoja DulmanJoseph EdwardJessica GregsonSulakshana GuptaMalek GutnyinNada HammadOcan HanningtonMohammed HilaliMikael L. Clason HookHou Akot HouDickson Mawa JamesKeiko KanedaAping KuluelPeter Ladu LasuEmmanuel Sebit LodongoBanak LonyaAndreas MabierAtem Simon MabiorAbraham Daljiang Makarconference participantsSuba Samuel ManaseAbraham MaviakAtekdit MawienPeter Marino Modi PityaPaola MoggiBenjamin Majok MonBeate Mueller-GrunewaldJoseph NashionKenyi NdipaTom NyakoeKanako OharaSteven OmiriCharles OtaraWilliam RappJohn RubganaMatata SafiChristian SchulteMoses Simon Soro de NigoDavide StortiAlex TabanAlfred TabanBonifacio TabanMichael Taban TowongoJames TurittoSteven TutPeter WadalaEric WakabiAnthony WaniGyavira WaniAbdallah Wani KebaJasun WiriEdmond YakaiEve Yayiteam mictKlaas Glenewinkel,Managing DirectorDirk Spilker,Senior Project ManagerPhilipp Hochleichter,Project ManagerJulian Kücklich,Head Media andDocumentationDominik Lehnert,Editor-in-Chief at The Nilesand Representative MICTJuba officeLeila Bendra, Editor atThe Niles and Representa-tive MICT Juba officeJess Smee, Assistant Editorat The NilesRoman Deckert,Sudan Desk and ResearchAnke Fiedler, ResearchLutz Kordges, PRAkim Mugisa, AssistantMICT Juba officeteam r0gStephen Kovats, Curatorand Managing DirectorJodi Rose, Head Mediaand DocumentationGeorgia Nicolau,Head of PREla Kagel, Managing Part-ner at Supermarkt Berlinteam partnerSalah Khaled,UNESCO Juba officeJessica Hjarrand,UNESCO Juba officeBakhita Lato,UNESCO Juba officeAnna Grace Victor,UNESCO Juba officeDaro Justine,UNESCO Juba OfficeStuart Campo,UNICEF Juba office