Print Overview

Newspapers have stopped publishing in most of Somalia, but a dozen small-circulation titles are still printed in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliand.

Some, such as Haatuf, Jamhuuriya and Geeska Afrika are daily.

Others publish two or three times per week or even weekly.

All the Somaliland papers normally sell less than 1,000 copies per issue.

Most of them are published in Somali, but a couple of the larger papers have weekly sister publications in English and Arabic.

Rigorous control of the media by Al Shabaab has stopped most newspapers from printing in South Central Somalia.

As recently as 2009, there were up to 25 newspapers circulating in Mogadishu and other parts of Southern Somalia.

But by late 2011, only one daily newspaper was being published regularly in the capital.

This lone survivor, Xog Ogaal managed to keep going despite a mortar explosion damaging its premises in March 2011.

Low literacy rates, widespread poverty and the disruption of transportation by conflict have always restricted newspaper readership to the educated and relatively affluent elite in Somalia’s main cities.

Individual newspapers often represent the interests of a particular clan or other group.

Their owners sometimes blackmail politicians and businessmen by threatening to print negative stories about them unless substantial sums of money are paid.