South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC)

South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) is the national public service broadcaster in South Sudan. It runs radio stations and a television broadcast service.

Media assets

Television: SSBC TV

Radio: South Sudan Radio

State Media Matrix Typology: State-Controlled (SC)

Ownership and governance

SSBC was established through the Broadcasting Corporation Act of 2013 as a public institution accountable to the public through the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly. The main governing body at SSBC is a board of nine members who are appointed by the President after approval by the Assembly. The law put forward some provisions ensuring gender diversity (at least 25% of the board members must be women). There is no information about whether these legal provisions are implemented in practice.

Source of funding and budget

According to the Broadcasting Corporation Act, SSBC was supposed to be funded entirely by the government until 2019. After that, the law stipulates that the broadcaster must be financed through a combination of public media fees, state subsidies, ad revenues, sponsorship and donations. According to the latest data available, SSBC received a state allocation of SSP 74m (US$ 570,000) in the 20179-2020 budget, which accounted for most of the station’s expenditure.

In time, SSBC has also received funding from foreign entities to modernize its equipment and upgrade its facilities (they included Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Chinese government).

Editorial independence

In spite of the promises made by authorities that SSBC would be built into an independent public service broadcaster, editorial incidents and pressures from authorities on the broadcaster continued to appear. Authorities have the power to control the editorial agenda and coverage of the broadcaster through the appointment and the right to fire of the broadcaster’s leadership.

The Broadcasting Corporation Act of 2013 stipulates that SSBc should provide a broadcast service “independent from political or economic control by the government.” However, in practice, that provision is not implemented.

There is no oversight or assessment mechanism in place at SSBC that would validate the broadcaster’s editorial independence.

October 2023