Make your own free website on Tripod.com

AFRICAN ELECTIONS DATABASE

Home | About the Database | Terms & Definitions | Election Calendar | Election Chronology | Recent Elections | Electoral Authorities | Sub-National Elections | Freedom/Democracy/Human Rights | Site Updates | Links
Press Freedom in Africa 2010
 

africa_pressfreedom_2010.gif

 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 18 23 21 62 Not Free
Benin 11 12 10 33 Partly Free
Botswana 11 17 11 39 Partly Free
Burkina Faso 13 15 13 41 Partly Free
Burundi 21 30 22 73 Not Free
Cameroon 21 24 21 66 Not Free
Cape Verde 6 10 12 28 Free
Central African Rep. 19 23 19 61 Not Free
Chad 24 32 21 77 Not Free
Comoros 14 21 15 50 Partly Free
Congo-Brazzaville 16 21 17 54 Partly Free
Congo-Kinshasa 25 32 24 81 Not Free
Côte d'Ivoire 21 26 19 66 Not Free
Djibouti 24 26 23 73 Not Free
Equatorial Guinea 27 36 27 90 Not Free
Eritrea 30 40 24 94 Not Free
Ethiopia 27 33 18 78 Not Free
Gabon 24 25 22 71 Not Free
The Gambia 26 35 20 81 Not Free
Ghana 8 9 9 26 Free
Guinea 24 30 17 71 Not Free
Guinea-Bissau 15 24 15 54 Partly Free
Kenya 21 19 17 57 Partly Free
Lesotho 14 19 15 48 Partly Free
Liberia 17 23 21 61 Not Free
Madagascar 17 29 15 61 Not Free
Malawi 17 21 18 56 Partly Free
Mali 9 8 8 25 Free
Mauritania 18 21 17 56 Partly Free
Mauritius 6 8 13 27 Free
Mozambique 12 16 14 42 Partly Free
Namibia 9 13 12 34 Partly Free
Niger 25 26 17 68 Not Free
Nigeria 15 22 17 54 Partly Free
Rwanda 26 33 24 83 Not Free
São Tomé & Príncipe 4 10 14 28 Free
Senegal 20 22 15 57 Partly Free
Seychelles 19 20 19 58 Partly Free
Sierra Leone 15 23 17 55 Partly Free
Somalia 27 35 22 84 Not Free
South Africa 9 13 10 32 Partly Free
Sudan 26 28 22 76 Not Free
Swaziland 24 27 25 76 Not Free
Tanzania 17 18 15 50 Partly Free
Togo 24 28 22 74 Not Free
Uganda 20 20 14 54 Partly Free
Zambia 19 25 20 64 Not Free
Zimbabwe 27 30 27 84 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
Madagascar's status declined from Partly Free to Not Free to reflect a serious deterioration in the political environment for the media in 2009, both before and after the overthrow of the government in March. Both main parties routinely ignored constitutional protections for media freedom while in power, using harassment, intimidation, and censorship to restrict media operations. As a result, news coverage became extremely partisan and polarized, while diversity of views receded.
Namibia declined from Free to Partly Free to reflect the government's increased negative rhetoric toward the press and biased coverage in favor of the ruling party surrounding the November 2009 elections.
South Africa declined from Free to Partly Free to reflect the threat posed by top government officials' hostile rhetoric toward the media, as well as official encroachments on the editorial independence of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), which dominates the national broadcast landscape. An additional factor behind the decline was the passage of the Film and Publications Act, which legitimizes some forms of pre-publication censorship and creates a legal distinction between government-recognized publications and other outlets.
 
 
 
 
 

Press Freedom in Africa

1989-2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012