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Press Freedom in Africa 2011
 

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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 18 25 21 64 Not Free
Benin 11 12 10 33 Partly Free
Botswana 11 17 12 40 Partly Free
Burkina Faso 13 15 13 41 Partly Free
Burundi 22 30 22 74 Not Free
Cameroon 21 25 21 67 Not Free
Cape Verde 6 9 12 27 Free
Central African Rep. 19 23 19 61 Not Free
Chad 23 31 21 75 Not Free
Comoros 14 19 15 48 Partly Free
Congo-Brazzaville 16 21 17 54 Partly Free
Congo-Kinshasa 25 32 24 81 Not Free
Côte d'Ivoire 21 28 19 68 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 23 22 69 Not Free
The Gambia 26 35 20 81 Not Free
Ghana 8 9 9 26 Free
Guinea 17 25 17 59 Partly Free
Guinea-Bissau 15 25 17 57 Partly Free
Kenya 19 18 17 54 Partly Free
Lesotho 14 19 15 48 Partly Free
Liberia 16 22 21 59 Partly Free
Madagascar 19 30 15 64 Not Free
Malawi 18 19 18 55 Partly Free
Mali 8 8 8 24 Free
Mauritania 17 19 17 53 Partly Free
Mauritius 6 9 13 28 Free
Mozambique 13 17 14 44 Partly Free
Namibia 9 14 11 34 Partly Free
Niger 21 21 17 59 Partly Free
Nigeria 14 21 17 52 Partly Free
Rwanda 26 34 24 84 Not Free
São Tomé & Príncipe 4 11 14 29 Free
Senegal 20 20 14 54 Partly Free
Seychelles 17 20 19 56 Partly Free
Sierra Leone 15 22 16 53 Partly Free
Somalia 27 35 22 84 Not Free
South Africa 9 14 10 33 Partly Free
Sudan 26 30 22 78 Not Free
Swaziland 24 27 25 76 Not Free
Tanzania 17 16 15 48 Partly Free
Togo 23 28 22 73 Not Free
Uganda 19 21 14 54 Partly Free
Zambia 19 23 19 61 Not Free
Zimbabwe 25 29 27 81 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
Guinea's score jumped from 71 to 59 points due to legal measures enacted by a new transitional government at the beginning of the year, including a constitution providing protection for press freedom and two new media laws passed in June. There was also a decrease in legal and physical harassment of journalists, and a decline in censorship and other official attempts to restrict independent news coverage.
Liberia was upgraded to Partly Free due to a more modest score change, from 61 to 59. The gain stemmed from the enactment of a freedom of information law and a decrease in physical attacks on journalists.
Following the February ouster of its increasingly repressive president, Mamadou Tandja, Niger's transitional military government created a new, more independent media regulatory body and allowed the reopening of a private radio station that had been closed by the previous government. Legal and extra-judicial harassment of journalists, censorship, and official control over media content were all substantially reduced in 2010, while reporters' ability to cover the news and media diversity improved, boosting Niger's score from 68 to 59.
 
 
 
 
 

Press Freedom in Africa

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