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AFRICAN ELECTIONS DATABASE

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Press Freedom in Africa 2008
 

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 Table of African Countries
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 23 21 63 Not Free
Benin 11 10 10 31 Partly Free
Botswana 8 17 11 36 Partly Free
Burkina Faso 13 15 13 41 Partly Free
Burundi 21 29 24 74 Not Free
Cameroon 20 24 21 65 Not Free
Cape Verde 6 10 12 28 Free
Central African Rep. 19 23 19 61 Not Free
Chad 23 30 21 74 Not Free
Comoros 14 25 15 54 Partly Free
Congo-Brazzaville 17 17 17 51 Partly Free
Congo-Kinshasa 25 32 24 81 Not Free
Côte d'Ivoire 20 27 19 66 Not Free
Djibouti 24 25 23 72 Not Free
Equatorial Guinea 27 35 27 89 Not Free
Eritrea 30 40 24 94 Not Free
Ethiopia 27 30 19 76 Not Free
Gabon 24 23 22 69 Not Free
The Gambia 25 34 20 79 Not Free
Ghana 8 10 9 27 Free
Guinea 21 29 16 66 Not Free
Guinea-Bissau 15 23 15 53 Partly Free
Kenya 21 21 18 60 Partly Free
Lesotho 13 19 14 46 Partly Free
Liberia 18 25 22 65 Not Free
Madagascar 14 19 15 48 Partly Free
Malawi 17 20 18 55 Partly Free
Mali 10 9 8 27 Free
Mauritania 18 20 18 56 Partly Free
Mauritius 6 8 12 26 Free
Mozambique 11 15 14 40 Partly Free
Namibia 8 10 12 30 Free
Niger 22 24 17 63 Not Free
Nigeria 14 22 17 53 Partly Free
Rwanda 24 34 26 84 Not Free
São Tomé & Príncipe 4 10 14 28 Free
Senegal 16 20 13 49 Partly Free
Seychelles 20 20 19 59 Partly Free
Sierra Leone 18 23 18 59 Partly Free
Somalia 27 35 22 84 Not Free
South Africa 7 12 9 28 Free
Sudan 26 29 23 78 Not Free
Swaziland 25 26 25 76 Not Free
Tanzania 15 18 15 48 Partly Free
Togo 23 29 22 74 Not Free
Uganda 20 20 13 53 Partly Free
Zambia 20 24 20 64 Not Free
Zimbabwe 29 33 27 89 Not Free
 
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
Benin's score worsened from 30 to 31, which tipped it over the cusp from Free to Partly Free status, owing to the continuation of criminal libel cases and polarization in a growing number of politically funded media outlets.
Central African Republic slipped back into Not Free status as the authorities attempted to limit coverage of the continuing armed conflict in the north of the country.
Niger, which has for some time been rated in the Partly Free category, witnessed a score decline from 58 to 63 points and a downgrade to Not Free status owing to the government’s attempts to control information on the civil conflict in the north, including suspending the operation of critical media outlets, prosecuting journalists for libel, and harassing those who produced controversial reports.
 
 
 
 
 

Press Freedom in Africa

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