Index 2024
94/ 180
Score : 55.44
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator
Index 2023
104/ 180
Score : 55.82
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator

Senegal’s media are very diverse but this is offset by the fact that news coverage tends to be heavily politicised, especially in newspapers. The country has traditionally provided the media with a favourable environment, with real media pluralism, but an increase in verbal, physical, and judicial threats against journalists in recent years has created the conditions for a decline in the right to information. 

Media landscape

Senegal has at least 45 daily newspapers, more than 20 general-interest and community radio stations, and around 20 TV channels. There are many news sites and online news channels. The privately owned media provide a platform to all political parties, but the state-owned, national TV broadcaster focuses on the government’s activities. The broadcast media of the Futurs MédiasD-Média and Emedia groups are among the most popular in the capital, Dakar. Due to low circulation, newspapers are not distributed throughout the country and are mainly limited to the capital and other large cities.

Political context

The country’s democratic roots and its current laws guarantee freedom of the press. Most of the privately owned media strive, independently, to expose and critically report on government actions and to stimulate political debate. The President of the Republic still has the power to appoint the members of the National Council for Broadcasting Regulation (CNRA), whose replacement by the High Authority for the Regulation of Broadcast Communication (HARCA) has been slow to materialise. Many media stakeholders continue to question the CNRA’s neutrality. In 2023, curbs were placed on the right to report the news in a time of crisis, including suspending the Walfadjri TV channel’s signal, restricting internet access and suspending social media and mobile internet.

Legal framework

Despite a legal framework that generally favours the practice of journalism, stakeholders are worried because basic press offences continue to be punishable by heavy sentences under the Press Code adopted in 2017. The absence of a law on access to information continues to prevent journalists and the public from accessing state-held information.

Economic context

Apart from the state-owned media and a few privately owned press groups, almost all of Senegal’s media lack an effective business model. Newspaper sales do not cover operating costs, state aid is insufficient and advertising is poorly distributed, with much of it going to the state-owned media.

Sociocultural context

Pluralistic coverage of LGBT issues continues to be difficult for journalists. Covering certain topics linked to religion can cause tension and even violence. 


Arrests and detention of media personnel in connection with political unrest have become frequent. An increase in both arrests and violence (verbal and physical threats) against journalists was seen in 2022 and at least ten journalists were arrested in 2023. All were granted a provisional release or amnesty. The sources of the growing physical threats to both local and international journalists include the police and political actors. The targets have included the journalists’ training institute, CESTI, which was attacked by demonstrators in June 2023.