Mali | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2009

2009 Scores

Press Status


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


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

  • Mali’s constitution protects the right to free speech, and the country’s broadcast and print media have historically ranked among the freest in Africa. Unlike in 2007, authorities did not use libel laws to prosecute journalists during 2008.
  • However, there were a few scattered instances of harassment of journalists during 2008. One of the more prominent cases was that of Sidiki Doumbia, a journalist with the newspaper Les Echos. He was detained overnight after an encounter with a police officer demanding money from bus passengers who did not show their identity cards. In another case, two French journalists were detained for a day on the grounds that they did not have the proper identification papers to travel to the north of the country.
  • A journalist with the newspaper Le Republicain received an anonymous death threat following a report on government corruption.
  • There are more than 100 private radio stations and over 50 independent newspapers, many of which openly criticize the government. The country’s only national television station remains under state ownership.
  • Given the adult literacy rate of only 24 percent, the majority of Malians rely on broadcast media, and private or community radio stations provide a critical service.
  • The government does not restrict access to foreign media.
  • Although the government does not restrict internet use, less than 1 percent of the population was able to access this resource in 2008.