Guarantees of media freedom in the Transitional Constitution are not respected in practice, says US-based NGO Freedom House.
The government has threatened and detained journalists over reports it does not like and the security services have seized print runs of newspapers. Defamation is criminalised.
"Harassment, arbitrary detention, torture or execution-style murder is the price that journalists pay for not censoring themselves," Reporters Without Borders has said.
Radio is the most popular medium. Private stations, some with foreign funding, operate alongside the state-run South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC).
The Catholic Church and Internews, a US-based media development organisation, are key players in non-state radio. BBC World Service broadcasts to Juba on 90 FM (Arabic) and 88.2 FM (English).
Though expensive for many locals, newspapers rank second to radio in popularity. Most publish in English and are printed in Uganda or Kenya.
State TV has little competition. The development of TV is hindered by poverty and a limited electricity and telecoms infrastructure.
There were 2.2 million internet users by December 2018, around 17% of the population (InternetWorldStats.com). Access to online media that report opposition views has been blocked.
There were 230,000 active social media users by January 2019 (We Are Social). Facebook is the most-used platform.
- SSBC (South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation) - state-run