Burkina Faso Government and Media Profile

Burkina Faso Political Orientation

Burkina Faso - Left Bias Political Orientation - Socialist - MarxistBurkina Faso Flag


Government Type: Presidential Republic
Head of Government: Captain Ibrahim Traore after the military coup
Political Party: Military Junta (The Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration)
Political Position: Left Nationalist

Press Freedom

MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 48.82 – Limited Freedom
World Press Freedom Rank:
Burkina Faso 58/180

Burkina Faso is “not free,” according to a Freedom House 2023 report, with a history of military coups and democratic decline exacerbated by a jihadist insurgency resulting in a crackdown on civil society groups and media freedoms. Recently, newspaper correspondents from French newspapers, Liberation and Le Monde were expelled, and political parties and civil society organizations were suspended after the seizure of power by junta leader Ibrahim Traore. The UN rights chief and Amnesty International have expressed concern and called for press freedom and the protection of journalists amidst threats and attacks against local reporters.

Media Ownership and Government Analysis

West African countries that were once French colonies are said to be against the presence of French troops in the region. Burkina Faso has recently confirmed the termination of its military agreement with France. Moscow is now filling the gap left by the departure of French troops, which has significant implications for the region, including concerns over human rights violations and the potential for increased instability.  

Burkina Faso’s military junta, which came to power in 2022, has implemented laws regulating media coverage of terrorist attacks, putting journalists at risk of imprisonment or fines of up to $17,980 for publishing information that could threaten national security. Although not consistently enforced, media outlets are required to obtain authorization before publishing stories. The deterioration of security and political conditions has led to an increase in self-censorship, affecting the prevalence of investigative journalism in the country.

Burkina Faso has a diverse media landscape, with state-owned and private outlets operating nationwide. State-owned Radiodiffusion Télévision du Burkina (RTB) is viewed as pro-government, while private stations such as  Burkina Info TV and Omega TV and Radio offer a more critical perspective.

In the print media, most newspapers are privately owned, such as L’Observateur Paalga; despite most newspapers being privately owned, there have been cases of government interference and harassment of journalists. In 2023, French journalists were expelled from Burkina Faso, raising concerns about media freedom in the country, where press freedom is limited compared to neighboring nations, and concerns about government influence and journalist safety persist.

Generally, Burkina Faso’s media environment faces challenges such as restrictions on press freedom and self-censorship despite having a diverse media landscape with state-owned and private outlets due to the military junta mentioned above.

Country Rating Methodology

Last Updated on May 12, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check

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