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Sudanese journalists call for an independent media body

Dec 8, 2005 (KHARTOUM) — The media conference that ended on Tuesday 6 December in Khartoum urged the government of Sudan to dissolve the media council which was formed by the government to regulate independent newspapers in the Sudan.

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Men read newspapers in Khartoum. (AFP).

The media council came under fire from the media conference on freedom of expression in Khartoum that ended yesterday, the Sudan Radio Service reported.

The media council is a government institution that was created by the then islamist government of Sudan, before the peace agreement. The media council was instrumental in censoring the independent newspapers.

Sudanese journalists attending the media conference call for the dissolution of the media council. They say the media council should be an independent body to enable journalists to regulate themselves.

Meanwhile, Sudanese women journalists say they are discriminated against in their work places. The journalist and human right activist Miss Lemia al-Jayly told the media conference in Khartoum yesterday that women journalists in Khartoum hold no management positions in the media. She said that negative beliefs are the main factors that have led to the discrimination against women in media organizations.

Miss Al-Jayly said it is only the media that can change this. She added that women need to be empowered economically in media so that they can own media houses where they are decision makers.

(SRS/ST)