Africa

Eritrea profile - Media

Eritrea is the only African country to have no privately-owned media.

There is no room for freely reported news and the media are subject to the whim of the president, says Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Sixteen journalists remain behind bars without trial, many since 2001, says the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The authorities "have yet to produce evidence that many of those arbitrarily jailed are still alive".

The government has held a monopoly over broadcasting since independence. The few privately-owned newspapers were closed in 2001 as part of a crackdown on the opposition.

Outlets run by Eritreans abroad provide alternative news, but their reach and influence inside Eritrea are limited. Exile broadcaster Radio Erena operates from Paris.

Ethiopia used to provide transmission facilities for dissident groups but this stopped following the signing of the 2018 peace deal.

There were around 71,000 internet users (1.3 per cent of the population) by 2019 (InternetWorldStats.com) - the lowest penetration rate in Africa.

Most Eritreans on Facebook and Twitter are based outside the country. Similarly, online forums are based abroad, mainly in Europe, Australia and the US.

Press

Television

  • Eri TV - state-run, operates two channels with programmes in Tigrinya, Tigre, Arabic and English
  • Assenna TV (ATV) - London-based satellite station

Radio

  • Voice of the Broad Masses of Eritrea (Dimtsi Hafash) - state-run, operates two networks, programmes in nine languages
  • Zara FM - state-run, music-based network
  • Radio Erena - operates from Paris with support from media freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

News agency/internet

  • Shabait.com - Ministry of Information website
  • Awate.com - US-based opposition news website
  • Erina (Eritrean News Agency) - state-run