Press freedom in decline

Freedom of information has declined sharply since 2015 amid growing international efforts to combat terrorism. Recent years, including the run-up to the February 2016 presidential election, have been marked by arrests of journalists, arbitrary closure of media outlets and obstruction of media activity. Access to social networks such as Facebook and WhatsApp and the sending of SMS messages were blocked for three days during the election. Journalists continue to be tried under the criminal code instead of the media law, which has decriminalized media offences. A journalist who is well known both for his professionalism and his critical view of governance in Niger was sentenced in July 2017 to two years in prison and the withdrawal of all civil and political rights for ten years. Although a citizen of Niger, he was expelled to Mali upon release in 2018 despite not having Malian nationality. A few weeks later, ten media outlets were closed for several days or weeks for nonpayment of taxes. Most of the country’s media struggle to survive economically. The government has so far failed to facilitate access to advertising for the privately-owned media, which would enable them to improve their economic viability and provide a real public service.

in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index



63 in 2018

Global score


27.40 in 2018

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2020
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