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Press Freedom in Africa 2012


 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
Angola 67 Not Free
Benin 34 Partly Free
Botswana 40 Partly Free
Burkina Faso 42 Partly Free
Burundi 72 Not Free
Cameroon 68 Not Free
Cape Verde 27 Free
Central African Rep. 62 Not Free
Chad 75 Not Free
Comoros 48 Partly Free
Congo-Brazzaville 55 Partly Free
Congo-Kinshasa 83 Not Free
Côte d'Ivoire 70 Not Free
Djibouti 74 Not Free
Equatorial Guinea 91 Not Free
Eritrea 94 Not Free
Ethiopia 81 Not Free
Gabon 70 Not Free
The Gambia 81 Not Free
Ghana 28 Free
Guinea 62 Not Free
Guinea-Bissau 57 Partly Free
Kenya 52 Partly Free
Lesotho 49 Partly Free
Liberia 60 Partly Free
Madagascar 63 Not Free
Malawi 60 Partly Free
Mali 24 Free
Mauritania 52 Partly Free
Mauritius 29 Free
Mozambique 43 Partly Free
Namibia 32 Partly Free
Niger 49 Partly Free
Nigeria 50 Partly Free
Rwanda 82 Not Free
São Tomé & Príncipe 29 Free
Senegal 55 Partly Free
Seychelles 56 Partly Free
Sierra Leone 49 Partly Free
Somalia 84 Not Free
South Africa 34 Partly Free
South Sudan 59 Partly Free
Sudan 78 Not Free
Swaziland 76 Not Free
Tanzania 49 Partly Free
Togo 69 Not Free
Uganda 57 Partly Free
Zambia 60 Partly Free
Zimbabwe 80 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, which had been upgraded to Partly Free in 2010 following efforts by the transitional government to open the legal and political environment for the press, slipped backward to the Not Free category, as the government of newly elected president Alpha Condé failed to implement those reforms. Moreover, the state regulatory body imposed a brief media blackout after a July attempt to assassinate Condé, and several media workers were detained, suspended, and threatened by the government and security forces during the year
Zambia was upgraded to Partly Free due to reform of the public media initiated by the new government after the September 2011 elections, which led to greater professionalism and independence, less self-censorship, and a decrease in the overtly partisan character of these outlets.

Press Freedom in Africa

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