A major daily newspaper in South Sudan said it had suspended publication as it could not pay the money needed to print the paper in Juba.
Michael Christopher, the editor-in-chief of Arabic language daily newspaper Al-Watan, told Radio Tamazuj on Tuesday that the publication has been halted as the printing cost for the newspaper has increased by 50 US dollars.
According to the South Sudanese editor, the Universal Printing Company, a privately owned company, on Monday increased the printing cost from 30,000 to 100,000 South Sudanese Pounds.
Christopher further said the newspaper’s management resolved not to increase the paper’s price in the market since the readers cannot afford it due to the economic hardship in the country.
“The management decided to stop printing the newspaper because the printing cost at the printing press has increased significantly. Any additional cost for buying a newspaper would also add another burden to the readers, so we decided to halt printing until we reach an agreement with the printing press,” Michael said.
The Juba-based newspaper has about 20 journalists and managers.
Local media in South Sudan still struggle to stand independently due to a continued deterioration in the exchange price of the local currency and a rising inflation rate.
Poor infrastructure also hinders coverage in many towns across the country and the ability for newspapers to be circulated.
Radio remains the only source of information for most of South Sudan’s population, as only 27% of the population cannot read.