Media of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
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Media in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are both nationally and internationally state owned and operated.
Freedom of speech and the press
While the constitution provides for freedom of speech and the press, the government has restricted this right in practise. Arrests, murders and other harassment of journalists is frequently reported.
Many journalists in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are subjected to the practise of coupage (in English: cutting), where journalists are paid to write articles on behalf of persons who are the article's actual subject. Press independence remains stifled. There are two significant impacts from this practise:
- it affects the principle of remuneration of some journalists, enabling the Congolese print media to make it difficult for journalists to earn a living from legitimate journalism alone;
- it makes it easier to bribe the press, as much for partisan articles as for articles containing generally neutral information.
Major newspapers are only nominally privately owned. Journalists must be members of the state-controlled union to practise their profession. The press today is firmly under MPR control. The largest dailies were Elima, Courrier d’Afrique, and Salongo (fr) (10,000).
The majority of print press publications are in French, an official language of the country. Despite their ambitions of national news coverage, it is difficult for these publications to attain broad coverage, both due to challenges in gathering information, and in physically distributing the publications. Many journalists are therefore tied to a city or a region, essentially Kinshasa.
Several daily newspapers are published, of which the majority have a pro-government bias. Some newspapers are published irregularly.
The postal, telephone, and telegraph services are owned and operated by the government. In 2002 there were an estimated 10,000 mainline phones in use nationwide. In 2003 there were an estimated 19 cell phones in use for every 1,000 people. State-controlled radio and television transmissions, operated under Radio-Television Nationale Congolaise (RTNC), are the prominent broadcasting stations, reaching the largest number of citizens. The RTNC radio broadcast of La Voix du Congo, is available in French, Swahili, Lingala, Tshiluba, and Kikongo. There are also many privately run broadcasting stations. In 2001, there were 3 AM and 11 FM radio stations and 4 television stations. In 2003, there were an estimated 385 radios and 2 television sets for every 1,000 people.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has many radio stations, the majority of which are based in Kinshasa. The transitional Constitution installed an entity called Haute autorité des Medias (HAM), which oversees media activity, including radio broadcasting.
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- This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies website http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/.
- Reporters sans frontières : Classement mondial 2009 
- Reporters sans frontières
- Munkeni Lapess Rigobert, « Phénomène du "coupage" en RDC », Panapress
- Commission de l'immigration et du statut de réfugié du Canada, « République démocratique du Congo (RDC) : information sur un journal appelé NUMERICA publié à Kinshasa, notamment sur un article intitulé « La famille n'a plus revu Géraldine Ndundu depuis plus de six mois » paru dans son édition no 664 du 22 février 2005 et sur l'existence d'un journaliste dont les initiales sont « A. B. » (2005-avril 2006) », 21 avril 2006, COD101230.F
- (French) Élections RD Congo RDC : à chaque candidat sa télé - Infosud.be
- http://www.tlfq.ulaval.ca/axl/afrique/czaire.htm Aménagement linguistique dans le monde : RDC
- "Democratic Republic of the Congo: Directory: the Press". Africa South of the Sahara 2004. Regional Surveys of the World. Europa Publications. 2004. p. 300+. ISBN 1857431839.