Democratic Republic of Congo profile - Media

  • 19 April 2016
  • From the section Africa
Refugee listens to the radio Image copyright AFP
Image caption Radio is the dominant medium in DR Congo

The Congolese media operate against a backdrop of political power struggles and violent unrest.

Attacks on media outlets and their staff are common, and the authorities frequently silence critical voices.

In the volatile east, the authorities have disrupted media operations, citing security threats, and rebel groups have been known to seize control of outlets.

In its World Press Freedom Index for 2015, Reporters Without Borders ranks the DR Congo at position 150 out of 180 countries.

Nonetheless, the press is able to criticise government bodies, and some publications are mouthpieces for opposition parties.

The DR Congo has nearly 300 radio stations and scores of TV stations. The private sector dominates the broadcast media and top outlets are owned by businessmen with strong political links.

Radio is the top medium; a handful of stations, including state-run RTNC, broadcast nationwide. Terrestrial TV tends to be confined to the main towns.

The UN Mission in DR Congo (Monuc) and a Swiss-based organisation, Fondation Hirondelle, operate Radio Okapi. The influential network employs mostly-Congolese staff.

The BBC broadcasts on FM in Kinshasa (92.7), Lubumbashi (92.0), Kisangani (92.0), Goma (93.3) and Bukavu (102.2). .

Radio France Internationale (RFI) is widely available on FM too. On occasion, the authorities have suspended its relays because of its coverage.

A handful of daily newspapers have low print-runs and rarely circulate outside the capital.

Internet penetration had reached 3.9 per cent (3.1 million users) by April 2016 (InternetLiveStats). Social media use is rising, especially among young people and the political class. Facebook is the main platform.

The government occasionally curbs internet access and SMS during times of heightened tension.



  • Radio-Television Nationale Congolaise (RTNC) - state-run terrestrial and satellite TV with near-national coverage
  • RTGA - private
  • Digital Congo - private
  • Raga TV - private


  • Radio-Television Nationale Congolaise (RTNC) - state-run, in French, Swahili, Lingala, Tshiluba and Kikongo
  • Radio Okapi - influential UN-backed network
  • Digital Congo FM - private
  • Top Congo FM - private
  • RTGA - private

News agencies/internet