Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision du Mali

The Office of Radio and Television of Mali[1] (Office de radiodiffusion et de télévision du Mali, ORTM) is the national broadcaster of the West African state of Mali.

Office de radiodiffusion et de télévision du Mali (ORTM)
TypeBroadcast radio and television
OwnerGovernment of Mali
Key people
Director General: Sidiki N'Fa KONATE (1997-).
Launch date
Radio: 1957
Television: 22 September 1983
Former names
Radio: Radio Soudan
1957 - 1960
Radio Nationale du Mali (Radio-Mali)
1960 - 1983
Radiodiffusion Télévision du Mali (RTM)
1983 - 1992
Official website
Young Dogon man just returned from Abidjan, with his radio, Tireli, Mali 1985.


Malian broadcasting began in 1957 as a one kilowatt radio station called Radio Soudan in Bamako, then administrative center of the French colony of French Soudan. After independence in 1960, Radio Nationale du Mali (Radio-Mali) began broadcasting from la maison de la Radio in the Bozola neighbourhood of Bamako. Technical abilities were bolstered with Czech transmitters ranging from 18 to 30 kilowatts in 1962.

In 1970, the Chinese government constructed four 50 kW radio transmitters about 7 km from Bamako, towards Kati, enabling Radio Mali to reach much of West Africa. In 22 September 1983, a Libyan financed television broadcast centre was opened in Bamako, enabling RTM to broadcast one channel of colour television.[2] French and German grant programmes between 1984 and 1990 enabled news and reporting to expand, with regional stations opening in Ségou (1986), Koulikoro (1989), Sikasso (1990) and Mopti (1993). In 1992, a second national broadcast radio network (Chiffre II) was added.

On 5 October 1992, the Malian government split off the RTM according to "Law 92-021", from direct government control, becoming a publicly financed, independently run entity (an "Établissement Public à Caractère Administratif (EPA)"). This was part of the national liberalisation process, moving the nation to the "Third Malian Republic". Private broadcasters were legalised, and RTM was reorganised as the ORTM on 1 January 1993.

ORTM was seized by National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy and State (CNRDR) forces on 21 March 2012 as part of the 2012 Malian coup d'état.[3] A thousand-person protest was held on 26 March, chanting "Down with Sanogo" and "Liberate the ORTM".[4]

Current outputEdit

In 2002, ORTM had 35 local radio and/or television broadcast points or repeaters, with TV/radio broadcast points in all eight Regions of Mali. From its headquarters in Bamako, ORTM produces two radio networks (RTM and Chiffre II), a national television network (RTM), and directs the work of a number of regional RTM radio stations.

Considered one of the freest news markets in Africa,[5] although government office holders threaten (and sometimes resort to) prosecution of broadcasters under Mali's strict anti-libel laws. In 2001, the head of OTRM was threatened with jail after the government attempted to prosecute RTM for an interview in which the mayor of Bamako accused the Malian judiciary of corruption.[6] Since 1992, broadcasting is no longer a state monopoly. There are two large private multi-channel television providers, and numerous private radio stations. Mali is also considered a world leader in community radio development, with ORTM helping to set up the Union des Radios et Televisions Libres (URTEL) , a network of over a hundred independently locally operated stations.[7] OTRM also partners with other government and international organisations in education and development programs throughout Mali.[8]


RTM Radio and television broadcast news and information programming, light entertainment (both foreign and domestic), music and sport. Most national broadcasts are in French, with several hours of Bambara language programming, as well as regional broadcasting in other languages. Emission Hebdomadaire d'Information, the weekly ORTM news magazine, has been broadcasting each Sunday at noon since 1998, and is anchored by Manga Dembélé and Youssouf Touré. A daily news program is broadcast twice daily. Chiffre II radio network is simulcast on the OTRM website, while television broadcasts are carried on regional satellite. ORTM television regularly broadcasts local sport, mostly Malien Première Division football matches, to an eager audience at least three days a week.[9]


  1. ^ "Home 1 | Sancy - Responsive Magazine News Drupal 8 Theme". Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  2. ^ Birama Diakona and Ute Röschenthaler (2016). "The Chinese presence in the Malian mediascape". Journal of African Cultural Studies.
  3. ^ "Possible Mali coup as soldiers storm TV station". The Guardian. UK. Associated Press. 21 March 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  4. ^ Martin Vogl (26 March 2012). "Mali Coup Leaders Partially Reopen Airport". The Guardian. London. Associated Press. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Mali country profile". BBC News. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
  7. ^ Oneworld UK Country Guide: Dan Gerber. No date: Retrieved 2008-02-25. FAO report: The Malian Experience in the Field of Rural Radio by Moussa Keita - Secretary General, Union of Radio and Television Broadcasting (URTEL, Mali). FAO Natural Resources Management and Environment Department: First International Workshop on Farm Radio Broadcasting - February 2001.
  8. ^ UNESCO Exchange Platform on Non-Formal Education, Mali. Retrieved 2008-02-25.
  9. ^ According to Ly, Friday Saturday and Monday, which are the most watched days by Malian viewers: Friday and Sunday are half days at most businesses, while Saturday in usually a day of rest. Ly, Anh. Dispatch from Mali: Democracy at Play -- Soccer Coverage and Viewing for All. Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media - Volume 48, Number 1, Spring 2007, pp. 97-102

See alsoEdit