Print

The print industry of Niger is still developing since the 1990s, as the increase in the number of print media shows. Despite the lack of financial means, print press operators are developing a sense of entrepreneurship. There are around 100 print media, most of which are not issued regularly. The most relevant and regular ones are: L’Enqueteur, La Nation, Le Sahel, Le Sahel Dimanche (public media), Le Matinal, L'Événement, Le Courrier, Le Canard Déchainé, Le Hérisson, Le Monde d’Aujourd’hui, La Roue de l’Histoire, Le Républicain, Le Canard en Furie, Le Gardien, Seeda, L'Éclosion, Le Témoin, Jeunesse Infos, Air Infos, Le Démocrate, L’Actualité, Le Nouveau Républicain, Le Sens de l’Histoire and the magazine Niger Inter.

Print media are mainly targeting the literate population. The printing cost of 1,500 copies with six pages is FCFA300,000 (EUR500), for a sale at the maximum price of FCFA300 per copy (EUR0.5). But despite the modest price, the sale of newspapers does not make it possible to reap revenue. In addition, newspapers, which are overwhelmingly produced in Niamey, are only rarely available in other parts of the country because of the lack of an efficient distribution channel. To enable media outlets to reach audiences in rural areas, press reviews in national languages are conducted weekly on local TV stations and radio stations. Some audiovisual media have coverage that goes into the country. Some civil society organisations also publish newspapers, but irregularly. One example is the case of the association Alternative Espaces Citoyens (Alternatives Spaces Citizens - AEC), which in September 1994 launched a weekly newspaper called Alternatives focusing on topics of social and political relevance including migration, mineral resources, livestock, etc. The association has also strived to include non-urban groups through the development of a bimonthly newspaper in the Hausa language called Sauyi (meaning “change”). As of 2019, these two newspapers are no longer printed but the online version is still available.

The rise of social media challenges the role of newspapers as main providers of reliable information. Yet, many fake news are spread on social media. In this context, another problematic issue is the use of "ethnic", "racial" and "regional" categories that are becoming more and more frequent in the press of Niger. This is connected with the political struggle, as some political parties with influence in various print media and social media groups, use ethnic references and fake news in order to influence the population. The use of ethnic explanations is becoming systematic in some media outlets when it comes to analysing the major problems facing the nation. Such practices encourage searching for scapegoats, or finding, within particular communities, feelings of solidarity in the face of the political and economic instability. This disturbing phenomenon threatens the fragile Nigerien democracy: The most populist political discourses are trying to exploit old grievances and a certain press conveys simplistic ethnic prejudices. For example, the relations between the Hausa and Zarma communities as well as the "Tuareg problem" are at the centre of these manipulations.