Media in Mali divided by conflict

This report presents the findings of the Media Assessment Mission to Mali from 13 – 19 october 2012 conducted by Panos West Africa, Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) and International Media Support (IMS) within the context of the conflict raging in the country. The objective of the mission was to carry out an assessment of the impact of the crisis on the media sector, and to identify areas of the media sector in need of support in consultation with local media stakeholders.

The events of 2012 have left a deep information gap between the north and the south of the country. Mali was perceived to have one of the most liberal media environments in the region, but the conflict has stalled the positive developments taking place in the area of press freedom and freedom of expression. This divide that now exists between media in the north and south of the country has amplified the old problems of political biases, lack of self-regulation and low journalistic standards.

While media in the south still has a functioning infrastructure and relatively easy access to information sources, media in the north has seen a destruction of the mass communication infrastructure and a shutdown of media, which has left the population in an information void. The few journalists in the north who have not fled to the other end of the country, remain at their own peril.