Algeria Political Orientation
Government Type: Semi-Presidential Republic
Head of State: President Abdelmadjid Tebboune
Head of Government: Prime Minister Aymen Benabderrahmane
Political Party: National Liberation Front (FLN)
Political Position: Left-Wing
MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 34.37 – Limited Freedom
World Press Freedom Rank: Algeria 136/180
According to Reporters Without Borders, Algeria has a poor record on press freedom, with journalists facing censorship, pressure, and imprisonment. Media and journalists in Algeria have been facing continuous pressure from the government, political parties, security services, and local officials; the election of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune in 2019 has contributed to a climate of tension that restricts independent reporting and limits journalistic freedom. Here is an example of the government’s intimidation and harassment campaign against media outlets.
Media Ownership and Government Analysis
The government controls most of the country’s media outlets in Algeria and owns printing presses in Algiers, Béchar, Constantine, Oran, and Ouargla. The state-owned public broadcaster, Télévision Algérienne or TV1, operates several TV channels, and the state also owns Radio Algérie. The leading print outlet is El Watan, and the top online outlets are TSA. At the same time, private television networks Ennahar TV, Echorouk TV, and El Bilad TV are the dominant media outlets. The government also owns the daily newspaper El Moudjahid, among others.
According to the BBC, many media outlets in Algeria are owned by business people who have connections with the government. In addition, government subsidies are granted only to state-owned media or private outlets close to the state. Due to government control over the supply of newsprint and ownership of printing presses, newspapers can face economic pressure.
Furthermore, Radio and TV channels in Algeria must have shareholders and managers who are citizens and cannot broadcast content that goes against “values anchored in Algerian society.” Libel/Slander Laws impose imprisonment of up to three years for publications that may harm the national interest and up to one year for insulting the president, parliament, army, or state institutions. Therefore, journalists in Algeria have limited freedom to criticize the government on specific topics referred to as “red lines,” and spreading “false news” that “harms national unity” is a criminal offense; penalties include prison terms of two to five years, as well as fines. For example, Algerian journalist and activist Amira Bouraoui fled to France to escape government repression.
In conclusion, the government heavily controls Algeria’s media landscape, restricting press freedom and expression. Journalists face significant challenges in reporting sensitive issues, and self-censorship is common.
Last Updated on May 12, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
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