Mmegi Online :: Botswana drops in media freedom report
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Last Updated
Friday 15 December 2017, 17:56 pm.
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Botswana drops in media freedom report

The 2016 world press freedom index indicates that Botswana has dropped a rank below when it comes to media freedom. Botswana dropped from position 42 in 2015 to 43 this year out of 180 countries ranked.
By Sharon Mathala Fri 22 Apr 2016, 10:28 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Botswana drops in media freedom report








According to the report although Botswana has a relative good position in the annual press freedom index, the government maintains control not only over the state-owned media but also over the privately-owned newspapers that depend on state advertising.

“The financial weakness of many media outlets makes them susceptible to political and financial influence that undermines their independence,” the report states.

In Botswana there is one state-owned newspaper and about 11 privately-owned newspapers. The state recently instituted an advertising ban on private newspapers but defended this saying they are merely cutting costs. The report states: “Officialdom’s harassment of the Sunday Standard’s journalists in 2014 and the many defamation suits brought against journalists show that it is still difficult to cover certain events in Botswana. This was particularly so during the 2014 parliamentary elections.” Published annually by RSF since 2002, the World

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Press Freedom Index is an important advocacy tool based on the principle of emulation between states. Because it is now so well known, its influence over the media, governments and international organisations is growing. The index is based on an evaluation of media freedom that measures pluralism, media independence, quality of the legal framework and the safety of journalists in 180 countries. It is compiled by means of a questionnaire in 20 languages that is completed by experts all over the world. This qualitative analysis is combined with quantitative data on abuses and acts of violence against journalists during the period evaluated. The index however is not an indicator of the quality of the journalism in each country, nor does it rank public policies even if governments obviously have a major impact on their country’s ranking.

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