Niger Government and Media Profile

Niger Political Orientation

Niger - Left Center Bias - Liberal - AuthoritarianFlag of Niger Political Bias


Government Type: Semi-Presidential Republic
Leader: President Mohamed Bazoum (Coup attempt on 7/27/2023 ) 
Political Party: Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism 
Political Position: Left-Center

Press Freedom

MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 58.92 (Moderate Freedom)
World Press Freedom Rank:
Niger 61/180

Niger is “partly free,” according to a Freedom House 2023 report. Reporters Without Borders reports that Niger’s position on the Press Freedom Index is 61st out of 180 countries. Despite a decrease in press freedom violations, the fight against terrorism in the region still significantly impacts journalists’ safety and public access to information in Niger. 

Media Ownership and Government Analysis

West African nations formerly under French rule oppose the presence of the French Military in the Sahel region. For instance, Burkina Faso has recently confirmed the termination of its military agreement with France. Similarly, during the colonial period, Niger experienced significant atrocities under French rule. Today, Niger continues to experience unfair resource exploitation by the French state-owned nuclear company, Orano, previously known as Areva. Despite being a significant uranium supplier to the European Union, providing a fifth of its supplies, Niger remains one of the world’s poorest countries.

Niger has a diverse media landscape, with state-owned and private outlets operating nationwide. State-owned Tele-Sahel is considered pro-government, while private stations such as Africable (Mali Based),  Saraounia, Radio-Television Tenere (RTT TV) – and Radio RM offer a more critical perspective. The print media in Niger consist of state-run Le Sahel, Le Sahel Dimanche, and Lenqueteur (pro-opposition privately owned). There are also several online platforms, such as ActuNiger, Niamey et les 2 Jours (pro-government), Niger Diaspora, and Sahelien (backing from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA). However, the reach of newspapers is limited due to high printing costs.

Funding constraints have led to a divided press in Niger, with media outlets aligning with the ruling or opposition parties. Media regulation in Niger is overseen by the High Council of Communication (CSC), a constitutional institution. The government provides funding for media development, and Niger has passed a press law that removes the possibility of imprisonment for media-related offenses and lowers the risk of being sued for libel. Still, challenges remain, such as police violence and detentions.

On January 2022, Amnesty International raised concerns about the increasing repression of media freedom in Niger, underscored by the conviction of investigative journalists Samira Sabou and Moussa Aksar for reporting on an international NGO’s findings.

The economic environment favors the state media, which benefits from the state’s support. Another problem Niger faces is a security crisis due to armed attacks in regions bordering Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Mali. 

Niger has faced multiple military coups, including in 2010, with the military’s presence still evident in politics. The government reported thwarting coup attempts in 2015, 2018, and, most recently, in March 2021.

Recent Developments On July 27, 2023, a coup attempt was reported in Niger, with members of the Presidential Guard detaining President Mohamed Bazoum inside his palace in the capital Niamey. The coup attempt sparked global condemnation and led to a standoff with the army. The situation is evolving, and the implications for Niger’s political stability and press freedom are yet to be fully understood.

Country Rating Methodology

Last Updated on July 28, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check

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