South Sudan

In a Fledgling Country, Perils for the Press

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In a thatched hut in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, about 10 young men and women sat on lawn chairs made of brown plastic. They loudly typed on the computer keyboards on the tables in front of them. Two fans were blowing heavily. But the loud humming, which turned all speaking in the room into yelling, didn’t come from them. It came from the backyard, and when it suddenly stopped, the young people saved their work. Minutes later their screens turned dark.

It was hours to deadline for The Citizen, until recently the only daily print newspaper in South Sudan, and its staff had to wait until the generator was refueled.

Making a newspaper anywhere these days is not easy; making a daily newspaper in South Sudan can seem nearly impossible. The country is twice the size of Arizona and 80 percent of its roughly 10 million people are illiterate. Power losses, a scarcity of paved roads, scattershot Internet access and increasing tribal violence make it that much harder.

Read the full article in the New York Times.