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AFRICAN ELECTIONS DATABASE

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Press Freedom in Africa 2004
 

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Table of African Countries
Survey Methodology
up or down indicates a change in Status since the last survey.
 
Country Legal Environment (0-30) Political Environment (0-40) Economic Environment (0-30) Total Score
(0-100)
Status
Angola 18 27 21 66 Not Free
Benin 9 11 10 30 Free
Botswana 6 14 10 30 Free
Burkina Faso 11 15 13 39 Partly Free
Burundi 21 30 24 75 Not Free
Cameroon 21 25 21 67 Not Free
Cape Verde 8 16 12 36 Partly Free
Central African Republic 25 22 17 64 Not Free
Chad 24 29 21 74 Not Free
Comoros 12 20 13 45 Partly Free
Congo-Brazzaville 17 20 17 54 Partly Free
Congo-Kinshasa 25 31 24 80 Not Free
Côte d'Ivoire 19 29 17 65 Not Free
Djibouti 21 25 20 66 Not Free
Equatorial Guinea 26 35 28 89 Not Free
Eritrea 28 38 23 89 Not Free
Ethiopia 24 23 19 66 Not Free
Gabon 22 20 20 62 Not Free
The Gambia 20 25 18 63 Not Free
Ghana 9 9 10 28 Free
Guinea 24 29 18 71 Not Free
Guinea-Bissau 17 27 19 63 Not Free
Kenya 20 21 19 60 Partly Free
Lesotho 11 15 14 40 Partly Free
Liberia 19 33 23 75 Not Free
Madagascar 11 18 12 41 Partly Free
Malawi 15 22 15 52 Partly Free
Mali 8 10 9 27 Free
Mauritania 23 22 19 64 Not Free
Mauritius 5 10 11 26 Free
Mozambique 13 17 15 45 Partly Free
Namibia 9 12 13 34 Partly Free
Niger 20 20 16 56 Partly Free
Nigeria 15 23 15 53 Partly Free
Rwanda 24 33 25 82 Not Free
São Tomé & Príncipe 4 10 14 28 Free
Senegal 12 16 9 37 Partly Free
Seychelles 17 17 18 52 Partly Free
Sierra Leone 18 20 20 58 Partly Free
Somalia 24 33 23 80 Not Free
South Africa 7 8 9 24 Free
Sudan 27 33 25 85 Not Free
Swaziland 23 28 26 77 Not Free
Tanzania 18 17 15 50 Partly Free
Togo 25 32 21 78 Not Free
Uganda 16 17 11 44 Partly Free
Zambia 19 24 20 63 Not Free
Zimbabwe 30 34 25 89 Not Free
 
Survey Methodology
The Legal Environment encompasses both an examination of the laws and regulations that could influence media content as well as the government's inclination to use these laws and legal institutions in order to restrict the media's ability to operate. Issues assessed include the positive impact of legal and constitutional guarantees for freedom of expression; the potentially negative aspects of security legislation, the penal code and other criminal statutes; penalties for libel and defamation; the existence of and ability to use Freedom of Information legislation; the independence of the judiciary and of official media regulatory bodies; registration requirements for both media outlets and journalists; and the ability of journalists' groups to operate freely.
Under the category of Political Environment, the survey evaluates the degree of political control over the content of news media. Issues examined in this category include the editorial independence of both the state-owned and privately-owned media; access to information and sources; official censorship and self-censorship; the vibrancy of the media; the ability of both foreign and local reporters to cover the news freely and without harassment; and the intimidation of journalists by the state or other actors, including arbitrary detention and imprisonment, violent assaults, and other threats.
Economic Environment: This includes the structure of media ownership; transparency and concentration of ownership; the costs of establishing media as well as of production and distribution; the selective withholding of advertising or subsidies by the state or other actors; the impact of corruption and bribery on content; and the extent to which the economic situation in a country impacts the development of the media.
Total Score and Status: A country's total score is based on the total of the three categories: a score of 0-30 places the country in the "Free" press group, 31-60 in "Partly Free," and 61-100 in the "Not Free" press group.
 
Status Changes
Cape Verde's rating fell from Free to Partly Free to reflect the continued influence of the government over the broadcast media and of the ruling party over the privately owned media, both of which have contributed to reports of growing self-censorship among journalists.
Gabon's status changed from Partly Free to Not Free due to the continued crackdown on the private press and the government's persistent habit of de-licensing private news organizations, as well as an overall countrywide worsening of the free speech environment.
Guinea-Bissau's rating moved from Partly Free to Not Free to reflect an increase in press freedom violations by the government against both the private and public media in an attempt to silence opposition voices related to the elections.
Kenya's status improved from Not Free to Partly Free because the number of press freedom abuses has decreased and the media generally enjoy greater editorial freedom under a new government elected in December 2002.
Sierra Leone's status improved from Not Free to Partly Free, reflecting a continued improvement in the ability of media outlets to report freely since the end of the civil conflict in January 2002.
 
 
 
 
 

Press Freedom in Africa

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