Sunday, October 7, 2012

How Hundreds of Journalists Became Unemployed

Exactly a week ago, 100 employees who used to work for Al-Tayar newspaper became unemployed.

Al-Tayar, one of the best-selling newspapers in Sudan, was suspended by the security apparatus in June.

"Until now, we were told the decision came from top officials ," said Mahjoub Osman, the head of the news department of al-Tayar to me.

For four months, the newspaper paid the salaries of its employees hoping that it will resume publication again since Al-Tayar was confiscated and suspended from one day to a few weeks in the past year alone. Last month, the newspaper stated that the closure has cost the newspaper over $100,000 and it was no longer able to sustain the expenses.

In July, Al-Ahdath, another independent daily was forced to shut down because of Sudan’s bleak economic situation, forcing dozens of reporters out of work.

Hamza Baloul who worked for Al-Ahdath said that at least 40 journalists and staff are now unemployed and less than five have found jobs.

The Sudanese Journalist's network estimates that at least 200 journalists are now out of work and after taking into account the recent closures, a founding member tells me that the number could go up to 400.

This year, the security apparatus has confiscated a number of issues from independent newspapers such as Al-Jareeda and Al-Sahafa causing great financial losses. 

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