Benin Political Orientation
Government Type: Presidential Republic
Leader: President Patrice Talon
Political Party: Progressive Union and Republican Bloc supported the President, and opposition parties boycotted the election.
Political Position: Center-Left
MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 55.72 – Moderate Freedom
World Press Freedom Rank: Benin 112/180
Since its independence from France in 1960, Benin has had a varied media landscape. However, according to Reporters Without Borders, the absence of substantial news organizations is noticeable. In recent years, press freedom has faced significant challenges due to the government’s firm grip over the media sector, which includes regulating agencies and directors’ appointments. Government-owned media is obligated to convey the government’s message, while opposition-affiliated media faces immense pressure.
Media Ownership and Government Analysis
Radio is the most popular and primary source of information in Benin. The State-run Office of Broadcasting and Television of Benin (ORTB) is the main public service broadcaster, transmitting in French and local languages.
Private publications include Le Matin, Le Matinal, Fraternité, and La Nouvelle Tribune. The High Authority for Audiovisual and Communication (HAAC), oversees the media sector and is responsible for granting and revoking media licenses, monitoring compliance, and resolving disputes. Members of HAAC are appointed by the President, the head of the National Assembly, and the Head of the Supreme Court. The HAAC was established by Organic Law No. 92-021 on August 21, 1992. As a result the government significantly influences the media sector by appointing the directors of HAAC.
In 2018, La Nouvelle Tribune was suspended due to content deemed offensive to the “private life of the head of state.”Furthermore, BBC reports, internet access and social media were disrupted during the April 2019 parliamentary elections.
Despite a diverse media scene with numerous private and state-owned radio and TV stations and newspapers, press freedom in Benin faces significant challenges due to government influence over the media sector and its regulation through agencies like HAAC. This has led to limited plurality and a lack of independent news organizations.
Last Updated on May 12, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
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