Eritrea profile

Eritrea is the only African country to have no privately-owned news media. The state of media freedom has been described as "scandalous" by watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

The government has maintained a monopoly over domestic radio and television since independence. The few privately-owned newspapers were all closed in 2001 as part of a crackdown on the opposition.

The state media strongly backs the government while accusing the opposition and the West (especially the USA) of undermining the country and of supporting its main enemy, Ethiopia.

Outlets run by Eritreans overseas - mainly in Europe, North America and Australia - provide alternative sources of information, but their reach and influence inside Eritrea are limited, not least because of very low levels of internet access.

Eritrea was described by RSF in its 2014 World Press Freedom Index as "Africa's biggest prison for the media", with 28 journalists in detention. The watchdog placed Eritrea last in its ranking of 180 countries surveyed for the seventh year running.

There were around 377,000 internet users (6 per cent of the population) by December 2013, according to Internetworldstats website. RSF says while there is no widespread filtering, some diaspora websites have been blocked. Bloggers and other web users have been threatened.

Press

  • Hadas Eritrea - government-owned, published three days a week
  • Eritrea Profile - government-owned weekly, in English
  • Tirigta - pro-government youth weekly owned by ruling party
  • Geled - weekly youth paper

Television

Radio

  • Voice of the Broad Masses of Eritrea (Dimtsi Hafash) - state-run, operates two networks, programmes in 11 languages
  • Radio Zara - state-run, FM network

News agency/internet

  • Shabait.com - Ministry of Information website
  • Erina (Eritrean News Agency) - state-run

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