Report on Training Workshop on “Media, Multiculturalism and Democracy in Sudan” .. Khartoum, February 5-11, 2006

In Media & Human Rights, Trainings and Workshops by

During the period February 5-11, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, in cooperation with the Sudanese Radio and Television Corporation , held a training workshop on “Media, Multiculturalism and Democracy in Sudan”.

CIHRS aimed at presenting a set of practical skills and knowledge related to cultural diversity and human rights, and their relationship to media in Sudan, specifically during the interim period in Sudan.

The training targeted a group of media personal working in the Sudan Radio and Television Corporation including specialists in program production, announcers, producers, program organizers and presenters in the Sudanese Radio and Television. In selecting participants, two factors were considered:

1. The importance for participants to be representatives of different racial, religious groups.
2. The importance for the Sudanese women to be represented in a just and fair manner, to reflect the real degree of their presence in society.

Thirty Sudanese media workers participated in this workshop, and lectures were offered by a group of media specialists and academics scholars from Egypt, Sudan and Canada.

The program of the training workshop focused on the following pivots:

The pivot concerned with the international human rights law: a discussion was held about the most important international and regional mechanisms of human rights. Also discussed was the position of media and cultural diversity in the international human rights law by presenting the most important provisions related to freedom of opinion and expression in the various charters, as well as discussion of the philosophical visions related to the right to be different. Further discussions included the UNESCO declaration on cultural diversity – Paris 2001.

The second pivot comprised discussions about issues related to the general situations of the freedom of media in Sudan. This included a roundtable on the situations of media, and another roundtable on media and the challenges of peace building in Sudan.
These were followed by working groups to discuss three issues: media and conflict in the Darfour region; media and interim arrangements in Sudan; and the crisis of absence of sensitivity towards multiplicity of the Sudanese media.

The third pivot included discussions of extremely sensitive issues such as discrimination in the Sudanese media in general, and discrimination and violence against women in particular. In the first issue related to discrimination in general, a discussion was held about the different forms of discrimination in the Sudanese media. Participants were then trained on the various means and mechanisms to look out for discrimination in the Sudanese media.

Regarding the issue of media and violence against women, participants were trained on observing the types of violence against women, both in radio and television programs, and how to design alternative programs that contribute to spreading the culture of equality between sexes.

In the fourth pivot, participants were trained on the mechanisms of management of cultural diversity through the Radio. In this pivot, participants were trained on a set of various and new skills of media in the post conflict societies. The Afghani case was taken as a model by studying the mechanisms related to triple cultural diversity, radio and production, and their relationship to processes such as the role of media workers in post conflict societies , and ambiguity of information transfer; the creation of pressure groups through media; and creating a favorable general framework for the work of media institutions within a legal framework, adequate financing, commercial advertising, or public financing. A space was provided for discussion of technologies of the radio for local or remote regions.

The fifth pivot was allocated to the presentation and evaluation of some experiences in media work in Sudan, through discussion of issues related to the experience of broadcasting of allegiance in Sudan in the area of cultural diversity, identity experiences, and cultural multiplicity in the Sudanese media, in addition to presentation of experiences of cultural multiplicity in the Sudanese arts and literature.

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