As a part-time English-language newscaster for South Sudan Radio at its studios in the city of Wau, Emmanuel Ujang is thoroughly acquainted with the scope and penetration of modern mass media.
But the 26-year-old native of Western Bahr El Ghazal State hasn't forgotten how neighbours in his rural village get their news.
"When I beat the drum three times, it indicates that a woman has died," said Mr. Ujang. "Four times indicates that a man has died."
In the absence of mobile phones and internet cafes, a loud drum can still rank as the most efficient medium of communication in much of the Sudanese hinterland where, according to Mr. Ujang, its beat can be heard as far away as seven kilometers.
In an era when hundreds of millions of people across the planet stay in touch with each other through Facebook pages, blogs and text messaging, older Sudanese can hark back to a time when rural residents primarily relied on musical instruments, messengers and even plant leaves to transmit news or give directions.
"Young men were sent as messengers carrying the messages of death, war, marriage (and) festivals to distant communities," said Philip Thomas, a teacher at the Comboni Basic School in Khartoum North.
Trumpets were used in similar fashion by Funj tribesmen in Blue Nile State to spread the word about a devastating fire or the imminent visit of outsiders to a particular locale, said Omer Issa, a Sudan Armed Forces corporal assigned to the Joint Integrated Unit in the Western Bahr Ghazal state capital of Wau.
One of the more creative tools is a square-meter sheet of copper known in Arabic as daga-alnehas, which is beaten to alert neighbours about a possible outbreak of fighting or an upcoming rite of circumcision.
The daga-alnehas is still used in much of North Sudan and even some outlying districts of Khartoum, according to Mohamed Ali Ismael, a 65-year-old native of the River Nile State village of Kabushia.
The old-fashioned handwritten letter was once the preferred mode of communication for Christina Andrea's father when she was growing up.
"I used to take the letter to the shopkeeper as an order from my father requesting items from the shop," said Ms. Andrea, a 28-year-old policewoman in Wau.
Her parent now phones in his orders, however, and traditional modes of communication are showing signs of dying out, especially in North Sudan.
The Khartoum North pensioner Abbas Fadul said that a drum made of goat's leather known as al-noba is still used by Sufi Muslims to invite the faithful to important events like a festival celebration during the annual Ramadan holiday.
But the advent of mobile phones has transformed the communications landscape in North Sudan, where many rural residents depended on camel-and donkey-borne couriers to convey information as recently as the 1980s.
"You find mobile phones in the hands of the youth, the elderly and women and men," noted Mr. Fadul. "(That) has made communication easy and fast."