The 2009 edition of the Africa MSI provides an analysis of the media environment in 40 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. As this is the third MSI study of the region, there are now several years of data, enough to draw a meaningful understanding of the development trajectories for the region, and the individual countries studied.
The results also capture the rapidly changing new media landscape on the continent. Although new media promise to open new avenues of expression, some governments view the expansion of such technologies as a threat. At one of of the spectrum, South Africa and Tanzania enjoy a relatively high degree of digital freedom. Many other countries, including Eritrea and Ethiopia, heavily monitor, censor and restrict the use of new media tools. Interestingly, many African governments that censor traditional media do not yet restrict the Internet. Perhaps believing it unnecessary, these governments instead might be relying on poor access and the prohibitive cost of connecting to dampen the Internet's influence.
Read more on IREX's site...
Overall, 7 countries (15 percent) were rated Free, 18 (37 percent) were rated Partly Free, and 23 (48 percent) remained Not Free in sub-Saharan Africa. As in previous years, the average region wide level of press freedom declined slightly during 2008, along with the average score in the legal and political categories. Press freedom conditions continue to be dire in Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, and Zimbabwe, where authoritarian governments use legal pressure, imprisonment, and other forms of harassment to sharply curtail the ability of independent media outlets to report freely. All three countries rank among the bottom 10 performers worldwide.
Read more on Freedom House's site...
Reporters Without Borders
With many African countries marking the 50th anniversary of their independence, 2010 should have been a year of celebration but the continent’s journalists were not invited to the party. The Horn of Africa continues to be the region with the least press freedom but there were disturbing reverses in the Great Lakes region and East Africa.
The relative positions of the African countries in the top 50 have also changed. They are now led by Namibia (21st), which has recovered its former pre-eminent position, while Cape Verde (26th) has caught up with Ghana (26th) and Mali (26th). South Africa (38th) has fallen five places, in part because of attacks on journalists during the Football World Cup but above all because of the behaviour of senior members of the ruling African National Congress towards the press. ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, for example, expelled BBC correspondent Jonah Fisher from a news conference on 8 April, calling him a “bastard” and “bloody agent.” And the government plans to create a media tribunal and to pass a bill restricting the disclosure of information. Both projects would endanger press freedom.
Read more on RSF's site...
Angola | Benin | Botswana | Burkina Faso | Burundi | Cameroon | Cape Verde | Central African Republic | Chad | Comoros | Democratic Republic of Congo | Congo, Republic of | Cote d'Ivoire | Djibouti | Equatorial Guinea | Eritrea | Ethiopia | Gabon | The Gambia | Ghana | Guinea | Guinea-Bissau | Kenya | Lesotho | Liberia | Madagascar | Malawi | Mali | Mauritania | Mauritius | Mozambique | Namibia | Niger | Nigeria | Rwanda | Sao Tome and Principe | Senegal | Seychelles | Sierra Leone | Somalia | Somaliland | South Africa | Sudan | Swaziland | Tanzania | Togo | Uganda | Zambia | Zimbabwe
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