Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

New Handbook for Sudanese Journalists

Guide provides local reporters with the information they need to cover international justice issues.

IWPR Netherlands has launched a manual for Sudanese journalists aimed at increasing local capacity for court reporting and tackling issues relating to international justice and local trials.

Drawing on our training experience in other countries in which the International Criminal Court is active, such as Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the manual takes journalists through all the steps necessary to understand international justice and produce balanced, accurate stories on the subject and related issues.

Reporters working inside Sudan face particular challenges, such as heavy censorship and the threat of imprisonment for articles critical of the authorities.

Sudan journalists say government intimidation and restrictions mean they have had little opportunity to develop critical journalistic skills. Many are forced to attend government press conferences and simply publish what ministers say.

Hildebrand Bijleveld, editor in chief of IWPR partner Press Now, with whom we have trained Sudanese journalists, said, "Independent journalism requires acquired knowledge about [the] ethics [of] reporting.

"Even more important, it demands technical skills. This IWPR practical guide is a very valuable tool to develop these ethical and technical requirements to enable someone to become an independent journalist.

"Press Now regards this guide as a must for all its reporters involved in covering issues related to international justice and the institutions involved."

Lisa Clifford, project manager at IWPR Netherlands, said, "Censorship and government intimidation are daily realities and most journalists have had little opportunity for formal training.

"Writing about the ICC is particularly problematic, more so since the indictment of President Omar al-Bashir. We know, however, that local journalists are keen to better understand the court and we hope our training and this manual will help to improve their knowledge about the ICC."

One of our trainees from Radio Dabanga, a radio station run by Darfuris in The Netherlands, which broadcasts into Darfur in Fur, Zaghawa, Masalit and Arabic, said, "The manual is beneficial for Sudanese journalists because many of the them don't know how the court functions."

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