Months-long protests in Sudan have led to the removal of Omar al-Baschir as president after 30 years in office. Demonstrators had stood up against the limitations to freedom of expression and press, as reflected in censorship and imprisonment of journalists. Now that the revolution has created new spaces for public discourse, they remain contested, highlighting more than ever the country’s need for new media that offer independent coverage of ongoing discourses and transformation processes.
The Goethe-Institut Khartoum’s project “NEW SPACES - Media Labs” is directed at young people and independent media organisations that wish to devote their journalistic work to accompanying the changes in Sudan and to contribute to its public discourse. In cooperation with our Sudanese partner organisation, Andariya, which has been operating a multimedia online platform for independent journalism on social issues that equally entertains and educates, the project seeks to develop a training tailored to the needs of online media actors.
In its first year 2020, the aim of the project is to draw a comprehensive picture of the newly flourishing Sudanese online media scene, in which the number of independent institutions and citizen journalists has skyrocketed. This includes an analysis of their needs, identified in direct exchange with these actors, and the tailoring of a training programme based thereon. The communication amongst the target group is, however, just as important. The project will bring them together in a number of discussion forums where they can share their ideas on the challenges to their work and identify training needs.
Based on this needs assessment, the project entails the development of concrete training workshops for online media institutions and citizen journalists. The “Media Labs” project strives to support and empower them to act independently, generate high-quality contents, and work individually and collectively in a critical and self-reflective manner. The Goethe-Institut wishes to assist independent media actors in establishing themselves in the newly flourishing media landscape of Sudan, recognising their significance as a platform for the country’s emerging discourse on social and political change.
“NEW SPACES Media Labs” is a project of the Goethe-Institut and supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.