Somalia profile

Casualty evacuated from a bombing scene Somalia - a dangerous place for journalists

Somalia's disintegration is reflected in its fragmented and partisan media.

Broadcasters and journalists work in a hostile environment. Eighteen journalists were killed in 2012 alone. Reporters Without Borders says Somalia is Africa's "deadliest country for journalists".

Islamists have targeted media outlets and their staff and have taken over radio stations in areas under their control.

Nevertheless, professionally-run media outlets have emerged - in particular, FM radios with no explicit factional links.

The TV and press sectors are weak and radio is the dominant medium. There are around 20 radio stations, but no national, domestic broadcaster.

Many listeners tune to Somali-language media based abroad, in particular the BBC Somali service. The BBC transmits on shortwave and on FM in Mogadishu (91.1), the Somaliland capital Hargeisa (89.0), and elsewhere. UN-backed Somali station Radio Bar-Kulan is based in Nairobi.

Somali satellite channels are a significant part of the TV scene. Most of these outlets are based in the UK.

Somalis abroad maintain an active online presence. But domestic web access is held back by poor infrastructure. There were 126,000 internet users by June 2012 (Internetworldstats).

Social media use is on the rise. The most popular destinations are Twitter and Facebook. Islamists use social media to promote their aims while their opponents mount strong rebuttals.

In secessionist Somaliland and Puntland the authorities maintain a tight hold on broadcasting.


  • Dayniile - news website, articles in English
  • Jowhar - news website, articles in English
  • Raxanreeb - news website, articles in English
  • Mareeg - news website, articles in English
  • Somaliland Times - Somaliland, English-language weekly



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