Radiodiffusion Television Sénégalaise (RTS)

Radiodiffusion Télévision Sénégalaise (RTS) is the public media company in Senegal. The broadcaster runs four television channels and a network of radio stations that include nationwide channels, an international radio and a chain of regional stations.

Media assets

Television: RTS1, RTS2, RTS3, RTS4, RTS5

Radio: Nationale, Thies, Mbacke, Kaolack, Kolda, Ziguinchor, Dakar FM, Matam, RSI

State Media Matrix Typology: State-Controlled (SC)

Ownership and governance

RTS was established through the law no. 92-02 of 1992, replacing the ORTS, the former state media company that had been created in 1973. RTS was established as a national institution. The main governing structure of RTS is a Management Council consisting of 12 members who represent various ministries. The director general of RTS is appointed by the President of Senegal. RTS is directly responsible to the Ministry of Culture and Communication.

Source of funding and budget

RTS is funded through a combination of license fees (that should be paid by all households in Senegal via their electricity bill), state subsidies and advertising revenues. RTS has not disclosed in recent years financial data about its performance. According to local journalists and experts, the state subsidy represents the highest share in the total budget of RTS. Local experts say that the station has an annual budget of roughly XOF 11.3bn (US$ 20.8m).

The government also earmarked in 2020 a budget of XOF 13bn to cover the costs related to the transition of the broadcaster to digitization.

Editorial independence

RTS has always been perceived, for good reasons, such as its biased coverage promoting and favoring the authorities, as a government propaganda tool. Through people appointed to its Management Council, the government has secured for decades control over the editorial agenda of the broadcaster, according to local experts.

No domestic statute an no independent oversight or assessment mechanism to validate the broadcaster’s editorial independence have been identified.

September 2023