Traditional media still under control

The installation of a new president, João Lourenço, in September 2017 ended four decades of rule by the Santos family, but the four TV channels, 17 radio stations and 20 or so newspapers and magazines are still very largely controlled or influenced by the government and ruling party. Censorship and self-censorship, a hangover from the years of repression under the former regime, is still widespread. It was seen in the state media’s failure to report that opposition parliamentarians held up yellow cards during the president’s address to the nation in October 2019. Only a handful of radio stations and websites manage to produce independent and critical reporting. The exorbitant cost of radio and TV broadcast licences holds back pluralism and prevents the emergence of new media actors. A series of laws passed in 2016 force TV and radio stations to broadcast presidential addresses to the nation and facilitate criminal defamation suits. Encouraging signals were nonetheless seen in 2018 in the form of the acquittal of two investigative journalists on the grounds that they had an “obligation to report with complete objectivity” and the publication of opposition op-eds in state newspapers. However, the media continue to press for the decriminalization of press offences without success. 

in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index



109 in 2019

Global score


34.96 in 2019

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2021
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