Guinea Bissau
Index 2024
92/ 180
Score : 55.95
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator
Index 2023
78/ 180
Score : 61.57
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator

In Guinea-Bissau, the sharp deterioration of security for media professionals, combined with political and economic pressures, have severely tested the practice of journalism in recent years.

Media landscape

The relative diversity of the media in Guinea-Bissau is characterised by heavy polarisation. The state-owned media, which are subject to strong influence from the government, consist of the national TV broadcaster, which struggles to cover the entire country, the national radio, the newspaper No Pintcha and the Guinea-Bissau news agency. There are also 88 privately owned and community radio stations, privately owned newspapers, and a small number of online media. 

Political context

Journalists have to deal with chronic political instability. A few days after clashes in November 2023, armed men in military uniform stormed into public TV and radio stations at President Umaro Sissoco Embaló’s behest and ordered them to broadcast a news segment about parliament’s dissolution. A former head of the national radio then forcibly retook control of the station on the orders of the president, who regarded the current director as too sympathetic to the opposition. At the start of 2024, the president also asked the interior ministry to set up “brigades” to monitor radio programmes and arrest people deemed insulting. In recent years,  the president had already threatened to close several radio stations for not having proper operating licences and referred to journalists as “mouths for hire”. 

Legal framework

Although the constitution guarantees freedom of the press and stipulates that it must be independent of economic and political interests, this isn’t the case in practice. However, there is a press law and the status of journalists is recognized in the country. But there is no law that guarantees the public’s access to information. 

Economic context

The advertising market is weak, and newspaper sales are low. Some journalists will only cover events if the organiser pays them. On some radio stations, many programmes are broadcast only upon payment of a fee. Although supposedly in better financial shape,  the state-owned media also have economic problems. Many journalists, who earn an average of 50 euros a month, find themselves forced to join a political party to survive. The heads of most community and privately owned radio stations, which are all in financial straits, were threatened with imprisonment if they did not pay their licence fee, which is the equivalent of 380 euros.

Sociocultural context

The media are often forced to censor themselves in some way, especially on topics deemed sensitive, such as drug trafficking. Embezzlement and corruption, which also affect journalists, are among the issues that get little to no coverage.


Journalists are often the targets of physical attacks and media outlets are exposed to the possibility of being ransacked. Journalists can also be subjected to violent online harassment campaigns, including sexist ones. Radio stations, especially independent ones, are often threatened with suspension. One of the most popular radio stations, Capital FM, had to stop broadcasting for seven months in 2023 after being accused of not renewing an annual tax.