Mali profile

Newspaper stand in Bamako

Mali's broadcast and print media were long hailed as being among the freest in Africa.

But a serious deterioration set in following a March 2012 military coup and a months-long rebellion and Islamist insurgency in the north.

The collapse of state control in the north led to a "trial of strength" between local media and Islamists, says Reporters Without Borders. The rebels banned Western music on radio and demanded that programming feature Koranic recitations.

Journalists fled the area. Many radio stations and newspapers were forced to close, or were attacked and vandalised by rebels. Some of these outlets resumed operation in 2013 as relative stability returned.

In the south, under the military-backed interim government, journalists were detained and assaulted.

Radio is Mali's most popular medium. The Media Foundation for West Africa said in 2012 that 369 private stations were on the air.

Newspaper circulation is low and mainly confined to newsstands in Bamako and the main towns. French-language, state-run L'Essor is the only title that claims national distribution.

The BBC broadcasts in Bamako (88.9 FM) and Radio France Internationale is widely available on FM.

By 2012, 2.2% of Malians were online (ITU).


  • L'Essor - state-owned national daily
  • Le Republicain - national daily
  • L'Independent - privately-owned
  • Info Matin - privately-owned daily
  • Les Echos - daily



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