Most popular newspapers in 2007 (ranked):
1 Awoko Times
1 Concord Times
4 Independent Observer
5 Premier News
After the end of the Civil War newspapers are not a widely used medium, especially outside Freetown, with only 15 daily newspapers operating in Sierra Leone. As the country recovered the number of newspapers increased and there were 58 newspapers registered in 2010.
Radio is the most common and trusted media in Sierra Leone with 85% of population having access to the radio and 72% listening daily in 2007. The level of penetration of radio varies between districts, from 96% in the urban part of the Western Area, to 65% in Kailahun, and is higher in the main towns than in rural areas. Peak times for listening to the radio are between 6am-10am and 6pm-10pm. Results of a 2007 British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) survey indicated it was important to listeners that radio news was unbiased, accurate and trustworthy and that it was by far the most trusted media in Sierra Leone. The results showed that news and music programs were the most popular and that the radio source of information most people used to learn about events that happened in the country including national elections.
One of the most popular programs is the soap opera Atunda Ayenda which is broadcast five days a week on 18 local stations. It is produced by Talking Drum Studios a company that was set up by Search for Common Ground, an international non-profit organization, to produce programs aimed at using the media to address the problems in Sierra Leone left by the civil war by promoting peace and reconciliation. Another popular radio program is Golden Kids News a program produced by young journalists that allows children to discuss topics of interest to them.
Most popular radio stations in 2007:
Area Radio station
Bo Kiss FM
Bombali Radio Mankneh
Kailahun Radio Moa
Prujehun Kiss FM
Western Area UN radio
All major cities in the country have their own radio stations and there are many local community radio stations but only a few national stations operating. The Sierra Leone Broadcasting Services (SLBC) which operates under the government Ministry of Information and Broadcasting run stations broadcasting on FM. The SLBC has a studio and transmitter in Freetown and regional headquarters in Bo, Makeni, Kenema, Kailahun, Magburaka and Koidu.
There are also FM relays of BBC World Service, in Freetown on frequency 94.3, Bo 94.5, Kenema 95.3 and Makeni, Radio France Internationale and Voice of America are available in Freetown.
List of radio stations
SLBC – State radio(/TV) station, based in Freetown
Capital Radio 104.9, 102.3, 103.3 – private station in Freetown, Bo, Kenema and Makeni
Believer’s Broadcasting Network (BBN) FM 93.0 – private station in Freetown
Sky FM 106.6 – private station in Freetown
Radio Democracy 98.1 – private station in Freetown
Voice of the Handicapped – private-run radio station for disabled but attracts audience nationwide
Children’s Radio 103.0 in Freetown
Radio Tombo 96.0 – private station in Freetown
Radio Citizen 103.7 private station in Freetown
Radio Freetown 90.6 private station in Freetown
Kiss FM 104 – private station in Bo
Radio New Song 97.5 – private station in Bo
Eastern Radio 101.9 – private station in Kenema
Radio Mankneh 95.1 – private station in Makeni
Radio Gbaft 91.0 – private station in Kenema
Koidu Radio Station private station in Koidu
Bintumani 93.5 – private station in Kabala
Radio Modcar 93.4 – private station in Moyamba
Radio Moa 101.5 – private station in Kailahun
Radio Kolenten 92.4 – private station in Kambia
Radio Bontico 96.4 – private station in Bonthe
Radio Universal 98.7 – private station in Freetown
BBC World Service FM relays in Freetown on 94.3 MHz, Bo on 94.5 MHz, Kenema on 95.3 MHz and Makeni
RFI (Radio France International) FM relay in Freetown on 89.9 MHz
There is one operational national television station broadcasting in Sierra Leone which covers the Western Area, Bo, Kenema and Makeni. Outside of these areas TV is not watched by a great many people because of the lack of electricity supply. The operational national terrestrial station is the state run the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) with coverage of Freetown (2 channels), Bo, Kenema and Makeni. Star TV provides a commercial television service for Freetown.
Internet access in Sierra Leone has been low but from 2008, after the introduction of wireless service and 3G mobile phones, use has increased dramatically. There are several Internet service providers (ISPs) in Sierra Leone. Freetown has a city wide wireless Internet connection and Internet access is offered in cafeterias, hairdressers and dedicated Internet cafes.
As of the end of 2013 there are approximately 2,000 business and high-end residential users of fixed Internet services in Sierra Leone and somewhere in the region of 10,000 users with Internet dongles provided by the mobile operators. 3G Mobile Internet services are available throughout the country, though quality can be poor in the east. Businesses operating outside of Freetown generally have to rely on VSAT satellite services.
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