Digital media

According to Target, the concept of "Digital" refers directly to the "Internet" in the Congolese environment. When talking about "Internet", most Congolese users think of Google, Facebook and WhatsApp. According to a 2018 study on the digital environment in the country, up to 41 percent of respondents have a mobile phone. This figure falls by 4 percent when it comes to the possession of a smartphone and it goes down to 3 percent regarding the possession of an Internet connection in Congolese households. Data on the profile of Congolese Internet users also emerge from this study. The majority of Internet users are of the age group 18-34 years, mostly male students. For these Internet users, Facebook is their first destination when they are connected to the Internet. Facebook is followed by Google search and WhatsApp.

It is important to note that with the advent of the Internet, Congolese in urban centers are connected to social networks. According to Target, the political situation (including restrictions on the use of the Internet at certain events), as well as the prices of smartphones, which are considered expensive by the majority of the Congolese, can explain the stability of the Internet audience standing at 24 percent. The Internet has promoted the development of a new way of communicating and disseminating information. It has also fostered the creation of new professions in the media world "online media", "E-influencers" that combine writing, audio and visual as well as traditional media.

In the DRC, online media, social networks, so-called networks of E-influencers, etc, are gaining more and more importance, due to the easy access to the Internet (via tablets, laptop and smartphones, etc) for people of all ages. In the absence of a regulatory mechanism for digital media, it is difficult to say how many actually exist in the DRC. Nevertheless, a group of online media established in 2015 is based in Kinshasa and has 20 members. This organisation, called the Association des médias en ligne (Association of online news media - MILRDC), aims to promote the production and access to online information for all and to defend the interests and the interests of its members on the professional, economic, social, legal and other fields. These media have the advantage of offering, often, free, fast and extensive access. However, they face great difficulties because of the resistance of political decision-makers to criticism and contrary thinking. Thus they are, from time to time, victims of cuts imposed by the political regime in place, in order to stop or postpone the dissemination of information considered as "politically incorrect." Online journalists have experienced several restrictions on the use of the Internet during periods of anti-regime protests. They have increased significantly in number since the beginning of the 2000s, when media, both written and audiovisual, started having websites on which they display information, usually for free.

The online media thus publish the information or the announcement to reach the largest masses possible in a very short time. But their work remains negatively affected by the poor quality of the Internet and the negative intervention of the political authority during the signal cuts. The interruption of the Internet by the Congolese authorities had the bad effect of also interrupting the work of these media during the whole time of the interruption. It has undermined the public's right to information and has caused financial shortfalls for these media and for those who depend on it, particularly with regard to advertising, which is the main source of their finances.

Digital media has broken conventional patterns of information privatisation and high-cost information and brought together sources of information that have been made available to the general public with electronic devices. Information flows faster. Although we must not neglect their contribution to the rapprochement of communities and individuals, it should be noted that the information circulating through social networks remains unreliable and sources are often not very credible.