Journalism and Politics Two Sides of the Same Coin; They can’t be Separated

by: Marwa Khalid

After all of what had been said by many organizations and western government about arresting journalists, preventing some news paper from publishing, I went to the press freedom organization here in Sudan and I sat with the general manger Dr. Najib Gamer El Dean and we talked openly about press freedom in Sudan.
Press Freedom Organization is a civil society organization that was established to monitor the rights of journalists and to contribute in making a good environment for them.

The developing of the countries

The development of a third world country is linked to the freedom of writing and criticizing, I asked Dr. Najib to comment on that, he said while looking at some papers in his hand “indeed, The first , the second and the third class world will develop in every sector if they find the freedom to right whatever they like. However the demonstration is different from country to another, the ideal role of press should be the help in raising the awareness of the citizens and to direct them to the way of development, but this is not the case in every country, some governments use the press in way that could prevent from developing, and the ironic part that the press could be used as a barrier from freedoms, worse than that some governments, who defined them self as democratic countries, believe that the standard freedom paradigm is always majored by their own experience of dealing with press , not others experience”.

The relationship between the governments and the press

When I side the words governments and the press together Dr. Najib slowly changed his sitting position and drew smile in his face and with low tone voice, said “the relation between the government and the press is a relation of sharing authorities, and to explain more the governments authorities is divided to two executive authorities and legislative power and each one is trying to expand more than the other, press is a system designed to observe the executive authorities and at this point tension will start to appear between the governments and there press” Dr. Najib paused for a second and continued ” press always find a breather or an outlet when they criticize there government, in the other hand, government do not want to be criticized, but If we want to speak the truth we need to admit that, press is an important tool for correction and direction to develop our countries and the government need to acknowledge that rule”

The press freedom in Sudan

The freedom of the press in Sudan is always under attack from the international community, Sudan is always accused by arresting journalists and preventing some newspaper from publishing, I asked Dr. Najib to comment on that, he looked at me and he gave the impression that he knew that I was going to ask this question but still with a smiley face and low voice tone , he said ” we need to be honest when we talk about freedom of press, it is not that innocent to the level people and press and governments talks about, the government and the press are like the two sides of the same coin, they can’t be separated, but if we tried to mix them the result will always be in the benefit of politics or governments” he asked me to drink my tea and continued ” people talk about integrity and distancing from being used but this is not available right now, also if we want to improve journalism politics will be involved in one way or another, even in the organizations here and that is always powered by some people or governments, they give them information to publish it and by way or another this information translated into different political decisions to various destinations, press freedom is just a phrase it can’t be demonstrated in the real world”.

The criteria for judging the press

After all of had been said it was important to ask what is the criteria for judging the press, Dr. Najib took a deep breath while looking to his computer and then to the ceil giving the impression that he is thinking about the answer and after 8 to 10 seconds he said with the same voice tone ” firstly am going to say the American experience was the ideal one for a long time and most of the countries was following them but they changed that right now because all the countries realized that the American government was dealing with their own cases and that is not a standard” he took his classes out and with a very serious look he continued ” what we see in the world right now starting from publishing problems and arresting of journalists is not happening in Sudan we have a good freedom and information circulation compared to other countries”

From the Editor

When I was planning to make this interview there were many questions and accusations in mind. But after I made this interview the answer was clear to me, if there is no press freedom in Sudan I wonder why there is an organization called the press freedom in Sudan.