Print

Print media are more present in Kinshasa than in other cities. Their circulation, often very small, is largely justified by the poverty that characterises the country and the low purchasing power of the Congolese (a director of a public administration has an average salary of US$200 per month). The maximum daily production is 1,500 copies (by newspaper Le Potentiel). The rest of the newspapers issue between 1,000 and 300 copies per day. The low number of printing houses in Kinshasa and the lack of printing companies in the rest of the provinces also do not allow any competition based on supply and demand. This negatively influences the price of newspapers (between 2,500 Congolese francs for ordinary newspapers and US$5 for the Le Soft International) and reduces the possibility for the average Congolese to access them. The newspapers that appear in the East of the country print their publications in neighbouring countries (Burundi, Uganda, and Rwanda). In Kinshasa, the very limited amount of print media sold results in large quantities of unsold newspapers at the end of each day, estimated at more or less 60 percent of production according to the editors of Le Potentiel, Le Phare and La Tempête des Tropiques.

To secure their income, these media are getting closer to politics. And that's why most of them do not have an editorial line. They offer their services to the highest bidder. They live from selling newspaper space to politicians and advertising. Many of their columns are furnished with advertisements that are their second source of income. According to the Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel et de la communication (Media Compliance Commission co-hosted by the Ministry of Media and the Superior Council for Audio-visual and Communication - CSAC), the DRC has about 571 print media, including weekly, monthly, bi-monthly and satirical (such as Le Grognon, Le Tapis Rouge, etc). Most of them are very local, with a provincial scope and limited to the places where they are printed, with the largest number concentrated in Kinshasa, as it remains the main city in the country, where most of the political and administrative activities are located, together with most of the country's intellectual class and public institutions.

To highlight the difficulties experienced by this media category in the DRC, the research and consulting firm called Target speaks of "the descent into hell with only 1 percent audience in 2018 nationwide against 8 percent in 2017." Poverty and low purchasing power of the Congolese are not the only threats to print media. There is also a kind of loss of interest, reinforced by the ease of access to news on the Internet. This access is even made easier by smartphones, personal computers (lap top) and tablets which allow direct access to web sites that broadcast information in real time. These tools make an important contribution to the training, information and entertainment of the public in this country, where gaps in the supply of electricity do not allow the use of television and the computer optimally. They help to facilitate access to information and the distribution of information without going through the cable system which is also very expensive. Their impact is particularly felt through the speed and ease with which they are used to distribute information or to access it. The rapid flow of information through these tools also allows the population to take appropriate measures, for example in case of pandemics or endemic diseases against which the population must protect themselves, take measures to obtain the drinking water when the public company which is in charge of its management announces that there will be cut.