Sudan Radio Project Finds Little Student Interest, Closes Doors

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Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Facing insufficient student participation, Swarthmore’s 5-year-old radio show Sudan Radio Project (SRP) decided to sign off the airwaves, at least for this semester. The show’s discontinuation was made final when the group opted not to reapply for the Project Pericles Fund, a five-year grant awarded to support Swarthmore social and civic action projects.

“We just didn’t have the manpower of a radio show anymore,” said SRP member Nick Gettino ’13, regarding the group’s decision to not reapply for funding. For full disclosure, Gettino was also the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Gazette in the fall of 2011.

SRP had difficulty last semester recruiting new members. Additionally, many juniors from SRP went abroad during the spring, including Gettino. SRP advisor Jennifer Magee stated that the group was down to about six consistent members during the fall, which made producing the broadcast especially troublesome last semester. “We decided it just wasn’t the right time for another funding,” Gettino said.

SRP, founded in fall 2006 as Darfur Radio Project, was a twenty-nine minute monthly broadcast segmented into four distinct news pieces that originally covered the political situation in Darfur. Two years after the show’s creation, the project expanded to cover the activities within all of Sudan and was renamed Sudan Radio Project.

The project was also founded on the idea that media coverage for Sudan was flawed. “The project was meant to be a broader range of news stories on Sudan,” said SRP member Maria Thomson ’14. Besides political issues in Sudan, the show also covered issues on women, education, healthcare, and other aspects affecting daily life in the country.

Some members of Sudan Radio Project are continuing their journalism at Lodge 6, which reports on issues of social justice. Others have moved to the Student Anti-Genocide Coalition (STAND), which lobbies for the United States to implement foreign policy measures that will intervene in Sudanese affairs.

The future for Sudan Radio Project may not be completely over, however. Gettino mentioned that the group may discuss reapplying for a grant in the future, possibly next year.

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