Easily influenced media

The precarious state of Madagascar’s media and journalists renders them very vulnerable to influence by businessmen and politicians, who own many media outlets. The presidential election held in late 2018, won by former transition leader Andry Rajoelina, confirmed the extreme politicization of the media, especial the print media. As almost all the newspapers backed one or other of the leading candidates, access to objective and independent reporting was very limited. Media owners were then given government positions. Media access to certain official events has been limited to pro-government media and journalists. In 2019, a court finally acquitted Fernand Cello, a radio journalist based in the south of the country who was arrested in 2017 in connection with his investigative coverage of local corruption and abuse of authority and who was awarded RSF’s press freedom prize the same year. The so-called the Code of Communication, a media law adopted in 2016, makes it possible to try media offences under the criminal code, potentially criminalizing journalism. It provides for heavy fines for offences ranging from insult and defamation to the publication of “false news” – a vague charge that denies journalists the right to make a mistake. Covering influence-trafficking in connection with natural resources and the environment is still very dangerous.

in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index



54 in 2019

Global score


27.76 in 2019

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2021
Go to the barometre