According to the 2017 Annuaire Media Mali by Forum de la Presse and Maison de la Presse, in Mali there are 198 newspapers of which 9 daily, 11 biweekly, 160 weekly, 10 sports newspapers and 8 periodicals and magazines. The daily L'Indépendant, the weekly Sphinx and the governmental daily Essor are the most popular ones, even though they only circulate in the capital Bamako. In certain regions they are available by subscription.
Except for Essor, newspapers in Mali are mainly private and written in French. Essor edits 3 titles in local languages, namely Kibaru in Bamanankan, the most widespread language in the country, Kabaaru in Fulfulde and Xibaare in Soninke. There are also regional titles which cover local news from Kayes, Koulikoro, Segou, Sikasso, Mopyi, Timbuktu and Gao. Most outlets are based in Bamako which has 183 newspapers, followed by Segou (six), Koulikoro (three), Sikasso (two) and Kayes (one), Mopti (one), Timbuktu (one) and Gao (one). Even before the crisis, 90 percent of newspapers circulated only in Bamako. Traffic rates are low, in the order of 300 to 1,500 printed copies each day.
The impact of the press is limited due to low literacy rates, with intellectuals and political leaders being the only categories accustomed to reading. The constant availability and the ubiquitous accessibility of online information has changed the way Malians access information, causing readers to abandon the paid print press. Information is abundant on the Internet, where users find free news sites which they can read according to their interests. However, the credibility of online media is limited, because of the behaviour of self-thought editors and the lack of information processing practices in the race to provide sensationalist or breaking news. It is not uncommon to read contradicting versions of the same news on subjects and topics that involve political, religious or artistic personalities.