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AFRICAN ELECTIONS DATABASE

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Press Freedom in Africa 2005
 

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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 19 26 21 66 Not Free
Benin 10 10 10 30 Free
Botswana 6 13 11 30 Free
Burkina Faso 12 15 13 40 Partly Free
Burundi 21 29 24 74 Not Free
Cameroon 22 25 21 68 Not Free
Cape Verde 7 13 12 32 Partly Free
Central African Republic 23 22 18 63 Not Free
Chad 23 29 21 73 Not Free
Comoros 11 18 15 44 Partly Free
Congo-Brazzaville 17 17 17 51 Partly Free
Congo-Kinshasa 25 31 25 81 Not Free
Côte d'Ivoire 19 31 19 69 Not Free
Djibouti 22 24 21 67 Not Free
Equatorial Guinea 26 34 28 88 Not Free
Eritrea 28 39 24 91 Not Free
Ethiopia 25 23 20 68 Not Free
Gabon 24 21 21 66 Not Free
The Gambia 22 31 19 72 Not Free
Ghana 8 9 9 26 Free
Guinea 25 30 18 73 Not Free
Guinea-Bissau 15 23 17 55 Partly Free
Kenya 21 21 19 61 Not Free
Lesotho 13 15 14 42 Partly Free
Liberia 21 29 23 73 Not Free
Madagascar 15 19 16 50 Partly Free
Malawi 16 22 16 54 Partly Free
Mali 6 8 9 23 Free
Mauritania 22 24 19 65 Not Free
Mauritius 6 9 13 28 Free
Mozambique 13 17 15 45 Partly Free
Namibia 8 9 12 29 Free
Niger 19 18 16 53 Partly Free
Nigeria 15 21 16 52 Partly Free
Rwanda 24 34 26 84 Not Free
São Tomé & Príncipe 4 10 14 28 Free
Senegal 10 15 12 37 Partly Free
Seychelles 21 19 18 58 Partly Free
Sierra Leone 20 21 18 59 Partly Free
Somalia 26 33 24 83 Not Free
South Africa 7 10 9 26 Free
Sudan 28 33 25 86 Not Free
Swaziland 25 28 26 79 Not Free
Tanzania 18 18 15 51 Partly Free
Togo 21 31 21 73 Not Free
Uganda 15 17 12 44 Partly Free
Zambia 20 25 20 65 Not Free
Zimbabwe 30 24 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
Guinea-Bissau's rating improved from Not Free to Partly Free due to a freer media environment and less official harassment under the new transitional government.
Kenya's rating declined from Partly Free to Not Free due to a government crackdown on the tabloid presses at the start of the year, and its failure to liberalize the country’s draconian media laws.
Namibia's rating improved from Partly Free to Free because it is widely viewed as one of the most media-friendly countries in Africa and no serious abuses against journalists have been reported for several years.
 
 
 
 
 

Press Freedom in Africa

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