Central African Republic
Index 2024
76/ 180
Score : 60.12
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator
Index 2023
98/ 180
Score : 57.56
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator

In a country where insecurity has persisted since the end of the civil war, journalists and media organisations are caught between armed groups and the authorities. The government’s rapprochement with Russia has coincided with a significant spread of disinformation.

Media landscape

Only two TV channels exist in the Central African Republic (CAR), where radio remains the dominant source of information, with several dozen radio stations throughout the country. Radio Ndeke Luka, one of the few media outlets that respects facts and sources, the Network of Journalists for Human Rights (RJDH) and associations of bloggers and journalists that do fact-checking are regularly pressured. The print media – consisting of about 60 publications, which are not distributed outside Bangui, the capital –  are easily manipulated. Their content often consists of little more than opinion pieces, rumours, and smear campaigns.

Political context

Despite very little resources and investments, the government-controlled state media continue to be influential. Journalists accuse the High Council for Communication of imposing arbitrary sanctions, which are sometimes imposed directly by the government itself. Independent media are often subjected to intimidation attempts. In 2022, after broadcasting several investigative reports exposing shortcomings in the country’s governance, one of the leading independent radio stations was told by the communication minister that the terms of its partnership with the government and the amount of taxes it has to pay would be reviewed.

Legal framework

A new law on freedom of communication was adopted in 2020, replacing a law dating back to 2005. In theory, it was meant to protect journalists, but in practice it has not fostered independent, quality journalism. October 2022 saw a setback to press freedom in the form of a bill that would criminalise press offences and allow the government to control the media regulator, all this against a backdrop of frequent attacks on journalists.

Economic context

Poverty and insecurity have held back the media’s development. Journalists are so poorly paid that per diem payments by event organisers are often their main source of income. When the Russians arrived in 2018, they started a radio station and took control of many media outlets and blogs, which now disseminate propaganda and false information, mostly targeting France and French journalists in the CAR.


In a country where the majority of the territory escapes state control, the authorities are increasingly intolerant of criticism. Journalists who interview persons associated with the various armed groups are routinely treated as spies or accomplices. Reporters are often subjected to violence, pressure, threats, and cyberharassment. Journalists critical of the government can be subjected to threats and attacks, like freelancer Fiacre Salarié, and arbitrary detention. When crimes are committed against journalists, there is total impunity, and the list of victims continues to grow: Elisabeth Blanche Olofio, Désiré Luc Sayenga René Padou, the French photojournalist Camille Lepage, as well as the journalists Eric Ngaba of the news site Ndjoni Sango, Christian Azoudaoua of the newspaper Le Charpentier, and Landry Ulrich Nguéma Ngokpélé of the Quotidien de Bangui