The media history of Gabon is not up to the mark like the other nations or neighbors. The country has a little number of media outlets and they are mostly owned by the government. Besides, the history of ruling for the country is also interesting. The nation has had only two presidents so far in past 35 years. But the presidents were competent to rule over the country. However, the media outlets have not prospered in the country which is unfortunate despite some special set of rules and regulations towards media outlets.
Since most of the media outlets are under the government rule, they never publish any anti-government news or information. Rather, they try to back the government. The majority of the citizens of the country are Christian. Hence, the media outlets try to respect the religion and do not broadcast of publishing any derogatory remarks on the matter. In line with the government initiative, there are some other private newspapers are also available in the country. But they are unable to serve the independent role. Besides, some biweekly and monthly magazines and newspapers are also available in the country which has irregular publications.
The economy of the country is based on oil and thus there are frequent fluctuations, but the newspapers and other types of media outlets do not have the true reflection on the matter. In fact, the reflections are limited to some specific issues.
Survival for the privately owned media outlets is a bit challenging. They have to spend a lot to get the government license to start their operation in the country. Moreover, they are also the subject to penalties if they break any of the state laws. In a word, they are to follow all the orders they receive from the higher authority of the government regarding news publication. Sometimes the media contents are also cross-checked by the government official and if something is found against the state, the media outlets are to pay penalties. So, the number of private media outlets is lower and irregular.
Some of the private media outlets were funded by the President of the state but not every private media houses received the fund. It was based on some certain criteria and actually was a kind of reward for the outlets who followed the government orders and directives. And to be more frank, it was a good purchase of the press.
The freedom of speech is guaranteed by the constitutions but in reality, the practice is not done perfectly. Often the journalists are charged on different issues for their violation of the code of conducts. Consequently, they are punished based on the level of their accusations. They even are imprisoned as well for the violation of the code of conducts.
The media censorship is another important aspect to describe. The media outlets are not allowed to publish or broadcast any secret information that may harm the nation or are not allowed to criticize any government policies. Penalties are specified if the censorship is violated.
The number of broadcast media outlets is not enlisted completely but there are several television channels and among them, one is state-run. The other television channels come up with a wide variety of news and information for the audiences. They mostly run some generalized matters for the audience satisfaction.
Around 14 newspapers are available across the country and they come with different languages including French. But some of the media outlets are not regularly published. They come even on weekly and monthly basis. They contain a wide range of content. Some of the media outlets are owned by the government while the rest others are privately owned.
Around nine radio stations are available in the country. Two of them are owned by the state while the rest others are private. They are accessible from any parts of the country, and almost half of the populations have access to radio. Therefore, radio has become a great source of entertainment for them.
Due to available internet use, the nation has some opportunities to use the internet as the source of news and information. Some internet cafes are available which allow the users to use the internet and get in touch with the modern world.