Burkina Faso Media

Burkina Faso Media


Print and online media

Over 30 newspapers appear in Burkina Faso, around half of which can also be read online. The media language is French. There are also magazines in local languages.

Daily press:

  • L’Observateur Paalga (up to 10,000 copies)
  • Le Pays (liberal, 3,000 copies)
  • Sidwaya (state, 3,000 copies)
  • L’Express du Faso (Bobo-Dioulasso, 1,500 copies)

Weekly magazines:

  • L’Indépendant (by Norbert Zongo, 8,000 copies) currently not online
  • Bendré (Sankarist) currently not online
  • La voix du Sahel (Sankarist)
  • San Finna (near UNDD, 10,000 copies)
  • Le Journal du Jeudi (satirical sheet, 8,000 copies)
  • L’Opinion (close to the government, 5,000 copies)
  • L’Evénement (10,000 copies every fortnight)
  • Le Reporter (fortnightly)
  • L’Hebdomadaire du Burkina

Online media (press review):

  • lefaso
  • 226infos.net
  • burkina24.com
  • fasopresse
  • fasozine
  • faso-tic
  • aib (news agency)

Critical press include l´Evénement, Le Reporter, L´Indépendant, Bendré or La voix du Sahel with some well-known journalists. The high percentage of illiterate people, the poor circulation of newspapers and the lack of purchasing power are some of the major obstacles to the development of these media. Nevertheless, their role should not be underestimated, as newspaper articles translated into local language are read out on the radio and their content is picked up by the other media.

Radio and television

See + hear online:

  • TV RTB live
  • Radio RTB live
  • Savane FM
  • Radio pulsar
  • Ouaga FM

Radiodiffusion-Télévision du Burkina (RTB) is the name of the national radio and television broadcaster of Burkina Faso. In addition to it, there are now over 70 private radio stations (repertoire of the media), about half of them in the countryside.

Several international FM radio stations (RFI, BBC, VOA, Africa N °. 1) broadcast from Ouagadougou.

The musician Moustapha Thiombiano is a legendary radio pioneer in Burkina Faso. Thiombiano had worked with Stevie Wonder in the US and hosted music shows in Los Angeles before returning to Burkina Faso in 1986. In Sankara’s time he installed “the first free radio in Francophone West Africa” and in 1990 put it into operation under the name “Horizon FM Fréquence Magique, 104.4”. He installed numerous local channels all over Burkina Faso. Many have now followed Thiombiano’s example. Radio Pulsar, for example, is a music broadcaster founded in 1996 as a GmbH in cooperation with the BBC, which today particularly appeals to young people. Radio Savane FM is the most listened to station today. It was founded in 1999 by three shareholders and also broadcasts in Yako and Kaya.

While in the cities the programming mainly consists of music, advertising, sport or news mainly in French, the programs in the countryside are broadcast in the national languages ​​and are particularly aimed at educating, entertaining and educating their listeners. Programs that recount old myths and fairy tales are very popular in the country. Newspaper articles are read out, translated into local languages.

In addition to the state-run RTB and RTB 2, you can also receive the French TV 5 in Burkina with a special cheap antenna. According to mathgeneral, there are also private TV stations in Ouagadougou, which can also be received in analog form in the vicinity of other larger cities:

  • Canal 3
  • SMTV ( Sky – Sports et Musique Télévision)
  • TVZ (TV channel by Moustafa Thiombiono)
  • BF1 TV
  • AFRICABLE (from Mali)
  • Multichoice Burkina Faso (Pay TV from DStv from South Africa, via satellite)

as well as the religious channels

  • TV Maria (Catholic broadcaster)
  • ImpacTV (Protestant broadcaster)
  • TV AL HOUDA (Muslim broadcaster)

Canal 3 belongs to the largest Lebanese-dominated group of companies in the country, the “Groupe Fadoul Afrique”. The comedy episode “ Le Bobodiouf ” is particularly popular. Canal 3 also offers information and debate. Pay TV enables reception of over 90 channels worldwide, available from isec. The pay TV Canal + can also be subscribed to.

The Center National de Presse Norbert Zongo offers an annotated list of the most important newspapers and radio and television stations, as well as a page on the media in Burkina Faso.

For almost 20 years, German development cooperation has supported the professionalization of journalism. DED began offering training for journalists in 2000.
Burkina Faso is a focus country for the Deutsche Welle Akademie.

Freedom of the press

No significant restriction on the freedom of the press had been observed under the transitional government until the end of 2015. According to a study by the Deutsche Welle Academy, published on the day of press freedom on May 3, 2015, improvements were noticeable.

In the 2020 world rankings for press freedom, Burkina Faso is ranked 38th (ahead of Italy in 41st or the USA in 45th) out of 180 countries. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) rated the press freedom situation as satisfactory. However, complaints were made that the Ministry of Communications was exerting influence on employees of the state media. Burkina Faso ranks fifth among the African countries (after Namibia, Cape Verde, Ghana and South Africa) and first among the Francophone countries in Africa. According to RSF, Burkina Faso is “one of the most dynamic countries in terms of pluralism – regardless of whether in print or rtv journalism.”

Even at the time of the Compaoré regime, when Burkina Faso was classified as a semi-authoritarian regime, the country had a pluralistic media sector. However, state television and radio, RTB, were controlled. Because of the unbalanced and incorrect reporting, the broadcaster fell victim to popular anger during the uprising on October 30, 2014, was devastated and set on fire. Democratic pluralism, promotion of good governance, reports of corruption and actions hostile to development are the new maxims of the RTB after the fall of Compaoré. On December 13, 2014, the anniversary of the murder of journalist Norbert Zongo, the previously taboo documentary ” Borry Bana ” (see above) was broadcast.

If the freedom of the press was respected more towards the end of the Compaoré regime, it was due to international pressure on the one hand, and courageous journalists like Norbert Zongo or Moustapha Thiombiano on the other. The freedom wrested from the state contributed significantly to the popular uprising of October 30, 2014 and to the overthrow of Blaise Compaoré.
Since the print media only reached a small intellectual upper class, external freedom went furthest in magazines. Sensitive issues could be picked up in critical magazines or polemicized against the government and president. Increasingly, however, newspaper articles were read aloud by private radio stations.

Moustapha Thiombiano wrested the freedom of the radio in a tough battle over the past three decades from the government. He was subjected to many reprisals in Burkina Faso, had to endure raids, went into hiding and fled to Ghana during the crisis surrounding Norbert Zongo.

For a long time, state-controlled television from RTB was the only Burkinabe television, although Moustapha Thiombiano had long since had fully equipped television studios in readiness alongside his private radio stations from Horizont FM. In 1995 he received a license for his television station TVZ. But since nobody watched the news of the state RTB, which appeared on TVZ in a new political color, the frequencies were withdrawn from him after a few weeks and replaced by others that did not correspond to his equipment. The behavior of the Ministry of Information was clearly politically motivated.

The TV landscape has changed in recent years. In addition to TVZ, there are other private broadcasters. Even broadcasters that focus on spiritual content or focus on music and sport have their own news programs, some of which are critical.

The ” Conseil Supérieur de la Communication ” of the Ministère de la Culture, du Tourisme et de la Communication (MCTC), which is a member of the Francophone Network for the Regulation of the Media (REFRAM) founded in Ouagadougou in 2007, decides on the approval of a broadcaster.

The private channels such as Canal 3 broadcast only over a few urban districts, while the state RTB also broadcasts in the provinces.

Up until now, journalists and broadcasting times were openly or covertly for sale. News broadcasts on the state RTB at 8 p.m. consisted – in addition to the latest reports from Burkina Faso and the world (mostly taken from French television) – to a large extent from a series of 2-minute reports from development projects, workshops or diplomatic receptions, all of which have one thing in common took on a monotonously optimistic tone and glossed over the situation. That was because television was paid like a service provider for the broadcast of such contributions, which were intended to raise the profile of the client.

The freedom of the press in Burkina Faso suffered a setback in 2012 when the journalist Issa Lohé Konaté von L`Ouragan was arrested and sentenced. The case had loopholes in the law that left judges and prosecutors free to act arbitrarily.

In an interview in February 2013, Abdoulaye Diallo, managing director of the CNPNZ press center, expressed his satisfaction with freedom of the press and media pluralism in Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso has a responsible press. However, he pointed out large loopholes in the law that threaten the rights of journalists. He described the judiciary in Burkina Faso as extremely weak. The press exposes many crimes that do not, however, result in prosecutions.

Burkina Faso Media