The democratisation process began in the 1990s contributed to the liberalisation of the Malian media landscape. For a smooth democratic transition, the Malian people needed more freedom of expression to debate all aspects of social and economic life. This can only be achieved with the contribution of private media, which at the time did barely existed. To this end, many press organs and private radios were created to fill the void in freedom of expression. The authorisation to open up and broadcast has been awarded to many media operators, sometimes without due process.
The Malian media landscape is still dominated by radio, which covers more than 75 percent of the territory, and the print press, even if it exists mainly in Bamako and in some regional capitals. The absence of a coherent media response during the first hours of liberalisation led to a flow of non-professional staff in the sector. In order to solve this challenge and to provide a legislative and regulatory framework upon which the media landscape can be managed, several entities have been set up, such as the Maison de la Presse, which brings together all the media operators in the country, URTEL working in the organisation of the audiovisual sector, CNEAME dealing with the distribution of air times during the legislative and presidential elections and the Superior Council for Communication which played the role of regulator until the creation of the Haute Autorité de la Communication (High Communication Authority - HAC) in 2017.
Public media must follow strict ministerial guidelines, while private media must meet the interests of investors. In the field of telecommunications, three operators share the market, but only Sotelma and Orange Mali cover the entire territory.
Two authorities deal with the regulation and management of disputes between post, media and telecommunications operators, particularly HAC for media and Autorité Malienne de Régulation des Télécommunications/TIC et des Postes (AMRTP) for telephony and post.
The media landscape is being innovated in the field of information and telecommunication technology through the promotion of startups, the creation of the Collaborative Centre for Robotics Education and the setting up of the Competitive Fund for Research in Europe.