Burkina Faso | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso

Freedom of the Press 2004

2004 Scores

Press Status

Partly Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


Freedom of speech is protected by the constitution, and the government generally respects this right in practice. Under the 1993 information code, media outlets accused of endangering national security or distributing false news can be summarily banned. The Supreme Council of Information, a state-run media supervisory body, regulates the broadcast media. State-operated media outlets display a considerable degree of pro-government bias. In contrast, the independent media, including several daily newspapers and more than 50 radio stations, function with little governmental interference, are able to report on issues such as corruption or human rights violations, and are often critical of the government. However, the administration remains sensitive to scrutiny and pressures some journalists into practicing self-censorship. Reporters are occasionally subjected to harassment at the hands of police. In February, police in Bobo-Dioulasso briefly detained the editor of the independent daily L'Express Du Faso after he refused to reveal his source for a story concerning the local police. Access to foreign media broadcasts and to the Internet is unrestricted.