DR Congo media profile

Journalists at Radio Communautaire Maendeleo in Bukavu, DR Congo, November 2021
Journalists at Radio Communautaire Maendeleo in Bukavu, DR Congo, November 2021

DR Congo has an extensive media environment, but operations are hampered by punitive legislation and widespread insecurity, especially in the east.

The local media watchdog Journaliste en Danger (JED) said it recorded 124 cases of press freedom violations in 2022, including the closures of 17 broadcast outlets, death threats against 49 journalists and the killing of one journalist.

The JED recorded 110 such cases in 2021 and 116 cases in 2020.

Military rule in the chronically volatile eastern regions of Nord Kivu and Ituri has heightened restrictions on journalists reporting on the conflict that involves over 120 armed groups, many of them with links to neighbouring Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda. Insurgent groups have also targeted journalists, who operate in an environment of fear.

Nevertheless, DR Congo has a diverse media environment with 540 newspapers - of which 15 appear regularly, 177 TV channels, 61 radio stations and dozens of news websites.

French is the official language, although there are programmes and community broadcasters that carry content in vernacular languages. DR Congo has more than 60 ethnic groups.

The state's RTNC and UN-operated Radio Okapi are the only broadcast outlets with national coverage.

The BBC broadcasts on FM in Kinshasa (92.7), Lubumbashi (92.0), Kisangani (92.0), Goma (93.3) and Bukavu (102.2). .

Radio France Internationale (RFI) is widely available on FM too. On occasion, the authorities have suspended its relays because of its coverage.

Daily newspapers have low print-runs and rarely circulate outside Kinshasa.

There were more 16 million internet users by December 2021, comprising 17% of the population (Internetworldstats.com). Facebook is the leading social media platform.

Press

Television

  • Radio-Television Nationale Congolaise (RTNC) - state-run terrestrial and satellite TV with near-national coverage

  • RTGA - private

  • Digital Congo - private

  • Raga TV - private

Radio

  • Radio-Television Nationale Congolaise (RTNC) - state-run, in French, Swahili, Lingala, Tshiluba and Kikongo

  • Radio Okapi - influential UN-backed network

  • Digital Congo FM - private

  • Top Congo FM - private

  • RTGA - private

News agencies/internet