President Omar Bongo and his government maintained their control over the state-owned press. Asked about the role of the state-owned broadcasters on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May 2002, communications minister André-Dieudonné Berre said, "the state media must continue to play their role of being a relay of the governmental action promoted by the head of state." Ethiopia
The privately-owned newspapers chiefly serve the interests of the political parties that support them. The newspaper that was most critical of the government, Le Gri-Gri International (formerly called La Griffe), stopped coming out in 2002. Often banned in recent years, its disappearance was a relief for the president and his aides, who had regularly been targeted in its pages.
The weeklies Misamu and Gabaon were shut down on 6 September for three months on the orders of the regulatory National Communication Council (CNC), which accused them of carrying reports "likely to threaten the reputation of the state and the dignity of those at the head of the republic’s institutions."
The council said Misamu was being closed for reporting the disappearance of 3 billion CFA francs (about 4.5 million euros) from the public treasury and for saying that civil servants might not get their monthly pay checks in September 2002. Gabaon was closed for criticising senate president Georges Rawiri in its 9 August issue. Two other publications, Le Nganga and La Lowé, were given "formal warnings" because of articles deemed to have sullied the dignity of the prime minister.