Regulatory authorities

The country has a public institution that is responsible for regulating the media. It is the Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel et de la communication (Superior Council of the Audio-visual and the Communication - CSAC) which was instituted by article 212 of the Constitution promulgated in February 2006 and modified in 2011. It is, within the meaning of Title V of the Constitution and Article 2 of its Organic Law, an "independent and autonomous institution, support for democracy" which has (Article 8 of its organic law) to guarantee the freedom of the press, information and other means of mass communication; to protect the press; to ensure the respect of the deontology in information; and to ensure the equitable access of political parties, associations and others to formal means of information and communication.

According to its organic law, the CSAC is composed of 15 members including delegates from the Presidency of the Republic, those of the government but also those of the national assembly and the Senate. The presence of these delegates from political institutions visibly correlates the institutional independence of the CSAC. Its technical expertise is undermined by the fact that, on the whole, these political delegates often do not have the proven technical capacity to work within this institution, which is both technical and independent. Because of its strong political dependence, the CSAC is often criticised for being more than tolerant of the professional faults committed by the public media, generally at the service of the political regime in place, as well as the other media that are close to this regime. It is accused to be severe to private media (commercial and associative/community) who seem to be more or less equitable in their debates.