Introduction to Sudanese Media
The ascension of press and media in Sudan has been nothing short of an historical event just like the rest of the world. Sudanese press was conceived almost in the beginning of 1900s. During this past century it has seen it all starting from achievements and failures, challenges and breakthroughs.
It has tried to depict the progress of the nation, illuminate its citizens, make and encourage public assessment, keep the Sudanese informed about the local and foreign events, prepare them in their battle for freedom and push them to achieve their national aspirations. Since Sudan got its freedom, it has just worked for the national solidarity, social change and development of the nation’s economy.
Sudan has a number of national and local newspapers mainly published in English and Arabic. The national radio of Sudan – Sudan National Broadcasting Corporation – airs programs in multiple languages such as English, Arabic, French and Swahili.
Television and Radio channels are mainly state-controlled and fill in as outlets for the perspective of the government. Writers and journalists work with more freedom and independence as compared to the neighboring nations.
Income generated by media industry in Sudan is sketchy as there are no market investigations or industry of the financial environment of the press.
The majority of them generate their income from commercials and not many of them have memberships with establishments since people prefer purchasing directly from the wholesalers. These establishments regularly support the policies of the system and just purchase those papers that help them. In this manner, autonomous papers or opposition papers endure a great deal, since most of the private organizations are focused on delivering the message of the regime.
Sudanese Media Today
Despite the fact that the print media is persecuted, the press assumes a critical job.
They help in investigating the political circumstances and promoting opportunities of expression of opinion in the nation. The historical change in ownership of the press features the crackdown on opportunity of expression and the political and financial impact that the system uses to control the press.
Sudanese news publications can be broadly categorized into:
A. Sudanese Newspapers and News Websites in Arabic
B. Sudanese Newspapers and News Websites in English
A. Sudanese Newspapers and News Websites in Arabic
As the only local language of Sudan, Arabic is extensively used in media across print, digital and radio formats. Most Sudanese newspapers and news website services use Arabic as their language. However, the following list consists of few publications that have extended their services in English also.
1. Sudan Akhbar
Sudan Akhbar is the largest news aggregator service in the country that captures real time news from different newspapers and websites. Covering over 20 major newspapers and almost all news websites, Sudan Akhbar has emerged as the most popular and trustworthy Sudanese news website. Given the extensive reach of the platform, it has become a hot favorite among all the publications to get featured on the website.
With a sharp focus upon political, economic and technology news, Sudan Akhbar has expanded the topics portfolio to other important sections. In fact, the news website has exclusive sections for over 10 cities, each representing a major region of the country. Not only these cities hold immense importance in the industrial sector but are major hotspots for any political uprising. Besides the capital city of Khartoum, other important areas include the city of Darfur, Kordofan, Sennar, El-Gedaref and the regions around the Nile River, the Red Sea and the independent republic of South Sudan.
Given the undeniable influence of Al Jazeera media group in the country, it appears in an exclusive section on the publication’s website.
In other sections, the publication covers Sudan, countries around Sudan such as Egypt, Ethiopia, and all international news. Since Oil is a major industry here, Sudan Akhbar provide an extensive reporting from the Oil trade in the region. This includes the real time price index, important decisions, announcements and the currency rates of Saudi Riyadh, Euro and US Dollars, Gold Rates.
Besides, Sports is the only topic from the non-urgency category that makes to the headlines. Like most Sudanese newspapers and websites, this one too doesn’t have a section for entertainment.
As a news aggregator, Sudan Akhbar aims to provide services for all the important queries over the web related to the country and the Middle East region in general.
Next on the list is Alnilin, a popular news website service featuring major headlines from Sudan and the world. Like Sudan Khabar, this one too aggregates news from different publications. However, Alnilin goes beyond and features original news coverage and articles.
The publication which is operated from the country capital covers political, sports, crime, Oil trade news, Middle Eastern happenings and major headlines from around the world. Not to miss, the publication has a dedicated section for Real Estate which garners substantial traffic.
However, the highlight here is the section of marriage that makes the news blog stand out from all others in the league. In one of its first attempts in Sudan, Alnilin took matrimonial services to the web and has met with tremendous success. The service which is known as Zawaj allows people from all over the world to seek match making through the publication website.
Among others, there’s a forum section that lets the readers engage into a discussion on a variety of topics. Followed by Alternative Medicine, a blog section for those owning deep interest in medicine and healthcare. And then there’s the video section that streams real time news coverage of all major happening within Sudan.
As one of the fastest growing Sudanese news services, Alnilin aims to bring more major Sudanese newspapers on board while allowing each one of them to stream their news bytes. As of now, the website features more than 15 major newspapers in Sudan. There’s also a career section that allows professionals to explore available employment opportunities.
While there aren’t any epaper services available, Alnilin has an impressive presence across the digital spectrum.
3. Sudanese Online
Sudanese Online is one of the most popular online newspapers published in Arabic and English. It was founded by Bakri Abubakr, a Sudanese national living in the US and ambitious about putting Sudanese journalism on the global map. Henceforth, in November 1999, he introduced the news website, making it one of the first Arabic news website service in the world. As of today, the publication is managed from Arizona and has more than 500 libraries in its archives.
With equal emphasis on reporting news from Sudan and South Sudan, Sudanese Online does brave coverage of incidents in the region and doesn’t hold back from criticizing the government.
Given the extensive reporting done over the years, the website is listed on the United States Library Congress. Therefore, it is a major source of information for anyone seeking accurate analysis of the political and socioeconomic affairs in Sudan and South Sudan.
The website has published more than 7000 articles about Sudan and South Sudan and has held to its repute of being neutral. It has also published more than 5000 videos on its YouTube channel that makes it one of the most detailed online publications covering the Middle East.
Sudanese Online is a popular topic of research among students in journalism and social economics. There have been award winning research on the publication and its role in educating the common Sudanese about their rights.
4. Al Rakoba
Al Rakoba is a Sudanese news website service that mainly features the social political happenings in the country. With a focus upon educating the readers about the latest announcements about government policies, Al Rakoba has an exclusive section for country’s President. Moreover, the publication features personal articles and opinions about a list of topics from guest authors. These include politics, trade and international relations.
Al Rakoba is mainly popular for promoting local music through its section Sudanese Songs. This is a major breakthrough for any Sudanese newspaper or website to have publicly publish artists. As expected, the young readers, flocking to the website have made it a popular choice among other Sudanese newspapers.
Al Rakoba can be followed on all social media platforms for quick access to news shorts.
5. Baj News
Founded in November 2017, Baj News reports major headlines from the state economics and thus caters to the business manufacturers, traders and investors in the region around Sudan. As of today, it is the only Sudanese news service that has put finance at the forefront.
Baj News came into being when popular industrialist Malik Jafar realized the dearth of an effective publication for those interested in trade news. While most readers in the Middle East region flocked to a few dominant publications such as Al-Jazeera, Malik foresaw the potential in the market and took no time to gather a team of journalists, researchers and media professionals.
As an independent news service, Baj News aims to report accurate news, dialogues, analysis, opinions and trends across a variety of subjects. More than economics, the website covers sports, politics, international trends, oil trades and articles of social relevance. Like most Sudanese news websites, Baj News also aggregates news features from different Sudanese newspapers and publishes them on the website.
6. Al Intibaha
Al Intibaha is one of the most popular Arabic newspapers in Sudan that has been widely credited for pushing for the partition of Sudan. Founded in 2006 by prominent politician and then leader of the National Congress Party, Al Intibaha has been proactive in its political affiliation towards the Just Peace Forum (JPF).
In 2005, the publication was planned as a tool to promote the party’s long shot agenda of dividing Sudan on cultural and religious grounds into North and South Sudan. This was the time when another major political outfit Sudan’s People Liberation Movement (SPLM) was expanding its popularity from South into the Northern parts of then united Sudan. Therefore, Al Intibaha, with the backing of the Just Peace Forum aggressively propagated the dire need of a country partition.
In 2006, after carving out a new nation in form of South Sudan, the Just Peace Forum successfully eliminated the influence of SPLM from North Sudan.
Post partition, Al Intibaha’s influence has outperformed all other newspapers in Sudan making it the most popular Arabic daily newspaper in the country and one of the best in the Middle East region. Ever since then, the newspaper has been criticized for advocating for the enforcement of Sharia law in the country while also severing relations with neighboring countries including South Sudan.
Beyond print medium, the publication is fast growing in the digital spectrum. Their news website service is one of the top 10 platforms in the country. With a mission to widen its influence beyond Sudan, the online platform features real time news from politics, state policies, sports and others. As evident from exclusive sections for books from Islamic scholars, the blog too supports the Sharia law movement in the country.
7. Sudan News Agency
The Sudan News Agency or SUNA is the official news agency of the government of Sudan. The agency provides news and important press releases to other licensed publications in Arabic, English and French in Sudan and few selected foreign news services.
In 1970, the then president Jaafar Nimeiri cited the need of an official press agency followed by the announcement of SUNA in a public speech in the Al-Ubaid city. Ever since then, SUNA has been proactively pushing for more journalism in the country. As a result, a number of newspapers, magazines, editorials and online news services have been introduced by various private and public sector entities. With Arabic as its official language, SUNA delivers English and French reporting for foreign publications.
In 1973, the first law of the agency was passed soon after which it earned an official status to regulate the press in the country. It operates from the country’s capital Khartoum and holds powers to capture news from inside and outside of Sudan and publish them for mass consumption.
In 2007, the agency ventured into the digital formats while introducing video reporting for wider broadcasting and an online news platform to reach global readers.
SUNA does comprehensive coverage from all major 15 regions of the country through a team of correspondents in state presidencies and localities. In fact, the agency has gone global with more than 23 correspondents deployed in various parts of Europe, Asia and Africa.
The Sudan News Agency has been instrumental in the establishment of a number of African and Arab news agency such as the Pan African News Agency (PANA). There have been multiple agreements with other global agencies to exchange news services.
8. Rakoba News
Rakoba News is an independent Sudanese news service that operates from the national capital of Khartoum. The publication promises to provide an impartial coverage of all news in Sudan across politics, economics, social welfare, Arts and South Sudan.
Rakoba News doesn’t have their own team of correspondents and feature aggregated content from local journalists. Rakoba News is easily accessible across all social media platforms.
Assayha is an Arabic newspaper in Sudan that extensively reports incidents from every nook of the country. The paper has been instrumental in highlighting the human right violation in various parts of the country thereby pushing the government to act stringently. Assayha operates from the national capital of Khartoum. The paper has been credited for its brave reporting and sharing news with foreign publications such as the Al Jazeera and the Outlook Magazine (India).
Assayha also runs an online news portal that publishes news in real time for a variety of topics. Besides reporting state politics and cross border affairs, Assayha largely covers Economy, Investigation followed by an exclusive section for Books and guest articles. The news website is entirely published in Arabic and caters to thousands of readers all over the world.
Cover is the largest sports news website in Sudan that covers all major sports league in the world, especially Football. The website came into being in 2012 and was the first Sudanese newspaper specializing in sports reporting. Ever since then, Cover has been reporting events in Africa, Europe and other parts of the country. Although the newspaper began with covering Football matches, it has now included other sports as well such as Basketball, Athletics and other major Olympic games.
Cover was incepted with a vision to promote local sports in Sudan and other areas of Middle East. The website categorizes the sports reporting into Sudan Sports, Arab Sports, Global Sports and European Sports. Furthermore, the Arabic sports website features interviews, major announcements, critical opinions, post-match reviews and inquiries.
The blog also has a forum section to host discussions on trending topics related to sports. As expected, the blog has a stupendous following among youth and especially those who plan to build a career in sports.
12. Al Sudan Al Youm
Al Sudan Al Youm is an Arabic online news service in Sudan that features headlines from politics and economics. The website does comprehensive reporting of events from Africa, Asia, Aruba and Asia. In Sudan, the publication majorly covers Sports, Business, Politics and Local. Like most online news services in Sudan, this one too aggregates news features from other print and independent journals.
The Opinion section of the website publishes blogs and articles from guest authors. Given the tensed relationships that Sudan has had with its neighbors, Al Sudan Al Youm has been proactively covering them all.
The website hasn’t confirmed to any political or cultural inclination.
Alhadag is an online Arabic portal in Sudan that provides a lineup of services such as News, job search, real estate queries, car sale and purchase, bidding platform, business directories and ecommerce of selected items. Given the long lineup of services available, Alhadag has emerged as one of the fastest growing online services platform in Sudan.
After garnering substantial traffic from different services sources, Alhadag’s stint with news publication has met with descent success. Operating from the national capital of Khartoum, Alhadag’s multipurpose approach has made it one of the most popular consumer service websites in Sudan.
Besides news service, Real Estate inquiries, ecommerce and Auction platform are some of the major revenue streams for the agency.
Sudanile was founded in 2000 by Professors Muhammad Ali Abdel-Halim, Tariq Al-Jazouli and Khaled Ezz Al-Din. The first edition of the paper was released on January 7 2001 in the national capital Khartoum. As per the publication, it was the first online news service in Arabic to come out of Sudan.
Sudanile was incepted with an ideology of promoting Sudanese culture among readers in the Middle East and other parts of the world. It has been focusing upon educating the readers about the unexplored potential in the country while also encouraging the trend of digital news.
Backed by such extensive history, Sudanile’s repute is unquestionable. The online paper does accurate coverage of politics, economics, trade analysis, sports, religion and culture.
Sudaress is one of the largest Arabic news aggregator platform operating in Sudan. The Sudanese website collects news items from over 27 leading newspapers from the region and categorizes them as per different topics and popularity. In an endeavor to cover most widely followed topics, Sudaress has a long lineup of headers such as Health, Religion, Culture, Social, Sports, International, Economics, Politics, Video News and ultimately the List of all featured newspapers.
The website claims to update the content every hour. However, the unique feature here is that the publication doesn’t have any editorial team or correspondents. Since it entirely features content from other sources, it is just a team of engineers who monitor the algorithm. It is managed from the national capital of Khartoum.
16. Arabic Media
For those media companies and publications that look forward to hone their global presence, Arabic Media is the ultimate destination. Not just it is the largest aggregator of Arabic newspapers and news websites but also the first news website ever made in Arabic.
Founded in 1995, Arabic Media started with publishing news from Iraq. In 2001, the website introduced videos and added more countries. As of today, it features most Arabic speaking nations in the world including Sudan. All leading Sudanese newspapers are published on the Arabic Media.
18. Al Taghyeer
Another electronic newspaper that aims to raise voice against human rights violation and restriction of press in Sudan, Al Taghyeer operates from a foreign land. Not publicly disclosing its location, Al Taghyeer was founded in 2013 on the world press day.
The day was specifically chosen to commemorate the deteriorating standards of press in Sudan. The newspaper has been proactively exposing the lies of the government in power while encouraging more people to stand up against injustice. The publication menu includes discussions, articles, opinions, investigations and daily news. It is published in English and Arabic.
19. Al Sudani
Al Sundani is a daily Sudanese Arabic newspaper founded in 1985. It was founded by eminent professor Maghoub Mahgoub to push for more democratic journalism in the country. With no political affiliation, the newspaper reports investigations, political news, economics, local columns, Sudanese news and International news.
The newspaper also has an electronic version wherein updated news are published for readers outside Sudan. In 2019, the newspaper launched its social media accounts for better reach ability.
20. Al Ahdath
Al Ahdath was a daily Sudanese newspaper published from the national capital city of Khartoum. It was founded in 2009 by eminent journalist Adil Al Baz. Prior to forming Al Ahdath, he had worked as a chief editor of another prominent Arabic newspaper Al Sahafa that earned him great repute in Sudan and overseas.
However, in 2012, the paper was forced to silence its outrageous reporting against the government. Ultimately, it was banned by the Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services for an indefinite period of time. After going into exile for some years, the paper had been trying to reinvent its status through digital mediums.
21. Al Sudaniya
Al Sudaniya is a news website service that reports major happenings from Sudan. It is managed by the Dimensions of Information media group. Published entirely in Arabic, Al Sudaniya has major emphasis on economics, state politics and trade relations with neighboring countries. The paper has a conversations section to host forum style engagements on a variety of topics.
24. Akhir Lahza
Akhir Lahza is a controversial Sudanese Arabic news service that boldly reports the cases of human rights violation and press freedom violation in the country. In 2017, the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) of Sudan seized the print run of the paper followed by a ban for 3 consecutive days. Ever since then, the paper is under consistent scrutiny of the Sudanese government and thus lost its domination over the years.
With no substantial presence today, the publication operates from an online news portal that continues to report economy, politics, investigations and sports.
25. New Sudan Vision
New Sudan Vision is an online news service founded in 2006 by a group of South Sudanese students. Given the aftermaths of the civil war that led to the separation of South Sudan from Sudan, this publication aims at educating the people about their human rights so that a better sustainability in the region could be achieved. It is managed from Winnipeg in Canada.
26. Al Rayaam
Al Rayaam was the oldest Sudanese newspaper that continues its operation till date. It was founded by Ismail Al Atabani in March 1945 with a vision to foster journalism in the country. Ever since its inception, the newspaper continued to adorn its disassociation from any Sudanese political party.
As a daily Arabic broadsheet newspaper, Al Rayaam operated from the national capital Khartoum. However, in 2019, the editor confirmed discontinuation of the publication.
B. Sudanese Newspapers and News Websites in English
In an endeavor to modify the country’s conservative image, English has gained widespread momentum in past few years. Subsequently, that shows in the increasing number of English only publications from Sudan.
9. Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba is the most popular English news service from Jordan and caters to millions of readers in the Middle East region including Sudan. Founded in 2000, the publication is one of those journals that took the Middle East reporting to a global level while educating the westerns about the actual situation. Since Sudan and South Sudan are an important part of North Africa, Al Bawaba considers them as an integral part of their content strategy.
Unlike most Arabic newspapers and website, Al Bawaba has a contemporary approach towards news reporting and content publishing. It is one of those few journals in Sudan or any other Middle Eastern country that has an exclusive section for Entertainment.
The parent company by the same name also runs a news aggregator service called Syndicate.
Al Bawaba claims to be an independent news service agency with no political or cultural inclination. Entirely published in English, it has been rated as one of the top English news websites in the Middle East. For Sudan, the website emphasis on covering politics, business, crime and tensed relations with South Sudan.
Al Bawaba has 3 offices in Jordan, Dubai and UK.
17. Sudan Tribune
Sudan Tribune is a non-profit online newspaper that does extensive reporting of happenings in Sudan. The news service aims to provide a transparent take on the happenings in Sudan so that it stays away from any political influence. Therefore, the news service is based out of Paris.
Founded in 2003, Sudan Tribune is published in English and Arabic. Over the years, the website has done bold reporting about covering various incidents of human rights violation, political corruption and the unfair partition of the country in Sudan and South Sudan.
However, it shouldn’t be confused with a print newspaper by the same name.
22. Middle East Economic Digest
Middle East Economist Digest or more popularly known as MEED is a business magazine that does complete coverage of economic affairs in the region. Founded in 1957 as a monthly magazine, MEED is one of the most reputed finance journals in the world. Not just the readers but entrepreneurs and investors in the Middle Eastern region look up to the magazine for accurate analysis of the business news.
Today, the online publication in English is extensively followed by management students, budding and entrepreneurs in Sudan. MEED also holds a series of events recognizing influential businessmen in the Gulf.
23. Radio Tamazuj
Radio Tamazuj is a daily news service and radio broadcaster covering current affairs of politics, governance, human rights, economics, law, justice, culture, education and gender. In one of its kind approach, the media group has been instrumental in tapping upon the sentiment of the common Sudanese and address their issues. Backed by a team of professional journalists, Radio Tamazuj is most active in South Sudan and southern states of Sudan.
Radio Tamazuj was founded in 2012 and ever since then, the media service has been reporting major incidents in the country. Not to miss, it is also a source of preferred source of advertisement for local brands.
Currently, the Print media in Sudan are confronting a significant crisis because of the substantial government restriction controls and decline in rates of selling. Besides, in between all of this ruckus there are not paid ads that these newspapers are getting to publish therefore, now they are forced to cut back their costs by sacking journalists.
As a matter of fact, almost 30 political and sports papers are published on a daily basis in Khartoum; but sadly they don’t reach the citizens and are just constrained to the fringe areas of the nation because of poor framework and the absence of active circulation organizations.
The government is also not very friendly as they enforce high charges on imported paper and printing. There have been a number of publishers who have tried to influence the government to reduce this fee but sadly they have failed. The authorities of Sudan routinely take down the papers which bring out the critical side of the content related to the armed force, administration, security forces. Due to this a number of papers have endured substantial money loss because of rehashed suspension and seizure.
However, the increasing digitization of publications has provided the readers with enough accurate analysis of the country without any interference from the government.
While a swaddle of Sudanese publications are doing their bit by fighting for press freedom, our teams at MediaBuzz are working hard to report the best in the business. We go through every news service which is related to Sudan and yet if we have missed anyone major, please let us know. As a growing blog, we are always looking for opinions to make our content better.
Please help us with your answers for the below questions in the comment section.
- What are the top five Sudanese newspapers?
- What are the top five Sudanese news websites?
- What are your views upon the press freedom in Sudan?
- Do you think the partition of Sudan has impacted the journalism in Sudan?
- Which are the top three politically neutral Punjabi newspapers?
- What according to you are the best Sudanese newspapers for business, sports and politics?
- Is there any particular newspaper that caught your attention?
- Which Sudanese newspaper do you read from the above list?
- Dis we miss any important Sudanese newspaper or website?
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