Sierra Leone profile - Media

Newspaper reader in Sierra Leone Image copyright AFP
Image caption Freetown has dozens of newspapers

Media freedom in Sierra Leone has its limits; media rights monitors say high-level corruption is a taboo topic, with officials using libel laws against errant journalists.

The threat of defamation charges was used to gag the media during the 2014-2016 state of emergency arising from the Ebola outbreak, says Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Challenges facing broadcasters include unreliable power supplies, poor funding and low advertising revenues. There are dozens of radio stations, most of them privately owned.

The Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) is the national state-owned broadcaster.

BBC World Service is on FM in Freetown (94.3), Bo (94.5) and Kenema (95.3). Voice of America and Radio France Internationale broadcast on FM in Freetown.

Dozens of newspapers are published in Freetown, despite low literacy levels. Most of them are privately-run and are often critical of the government.

By 2016 there were 160,000 internet users ( Poverty, irregular power supplies and illiteracy act as curbs on internet access., says RSF.

The press



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