Mali: Media Sector Struggles Amid Power Outages

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Media Sector

The media sector is severely impacted by persistent power outages, causing significant disruptions to operations. Several newspapers have ceased publication for weeks, including the state-owned daily, L’Essor. Last week, the newspaper’s union held a press conference to express their exasperation with the situation.

The union committee of the Malian Press Agency (AMAP), representing L’Essor, highlighted the intolerable burden of these outages. The agency’s generators are non-functional, forcing employees to work under extremely challenging conditions. This has severely affected the newspaper’s ability to reach newsstands regularly.

The private press is facing similar hardships. “We are barely managing. We try to cope with the resources at hand, but honestly, it’s very difficult. We might even go a full day without electricity, making it impossible to work,” shared Mariam Sissoko, editor-in-chief of Le Sursaut.

Exploring Alternative Solutions

The audiovisual sector is also grappling with the issue, with some opting for alternative energy sources. The private television channel, Joliba News, has taken proactive measures. “A month ago, we decided to install solar panels. While they don’t cover all our electrical needs yet, they power our TV and radio studios and control rooms. It’s a gradual improvement,” explained Amadou Diallo, the channel’s program director.

Since the coup in August 2020, the media and journalists in Mali have faced relentless challenges. Government subsidies for media have been suspended, and press freedom is under constant threat. A month ago, the High Authority for Communication even prohibited media from covering activities of recently suspended political parties.

The ongoing power outages only exacerbate these challenges, threatening the very existence of many media outlets in Mali. As the situation persists, the resilience and adaptability of the Malian media sector are put to the test daily.


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