Media closely watched

With more than 70 radio stations, 60 or so newspapers and magazines and around 15 TV channels, Benin’s media landscape is one of the most pluralist in the region and its journalists enjoy a significant degree of freedom of expression. However, the state-owned media have provided little coverage of opposition activities since Patrice Talon became president in 2016, and the media have been subjected to close surveillance. Pro-government reporting “guidelines” are often sent to the media after cabinet meetings. The High Authority for Broadcasting and Communication (HAAC) continues to be headed by a man who was reprimanded by a court for excessive zeal after he arbitrarily shut down several media outlets. Sikka TV, which is owned by President Talon’s leading political opponent, Sébastien Ajavon, is still deprived of its broadcast signal although a court ruled in May 2017 that it should be allowed to reopen. In 2019, Radio Soleil FM, which also belongs to Ajavon, was forced to close and lay off its journalists after the HAAC refused to renew its licence. Several journalists and bloggers have been prosecuted since the adoption in April 2016 of a digital law with provisions restricting press freedom and criminalizing press offences. A journalist was sentenced to 18 months in prison under this law for tweeting comments made by the prosecutor general. It was the first time in West Africa that a journalist has been jailed for using social media to accurately report statements made by an official.

in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index



96 in 2019

Global score


31.74 in 2019

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