African Media Barometer Senegal

In Senegal, limitations to freedom of expression, including intimidation and distortion, were rife during and beyond the 2012 elections. Whilst competitiveness in the television sector has improved, and print publications are not subject to state authorisation, radio remains the true mass medium. In new media, interference in online content is limited and ICT policy is comparatively dynamic, though lacking in coherence and inclusiveness.

Legally however, the access to information law, in the pipelines since 2006, has yet to be adopted, the Press Code has not yet passed parliament, and reforms on freedom of expression are stagnant since 2010. This means that reporting on sensitive issues is restricted by strong lobbies, state secrecy and self-censorship. Similarly, the self-regulatory authority is administratively and financially paralysed. Its integration into the Press Code and improved training facilities would be important steps to improve journalistic quality, reduce corrupt practices and strengthen legitimacy. In addition, salary and working condition agreements are outdated, as implementation and social security contributions of media houses leave much to be desired. Finally, neither the broadcasting authority CNRA nor the public/state broadcaster RTS are truly independent, suffering from funding shortages and non-transparent procedures allocating broadcasting licenses and selecting board member.

Overall therefore a stagnant Senegalese media sector calls for increased legal capacity, activism and public debate.

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African Media Barometer

African Media Barometer

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