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Cmpi talk may2013 final Cmpi talk may2013 final Presentation Transcript

  • FREEDOM OF THE PRESS IN AFRICA:TRENDS, TRIBULATIONS, AND TRIUMPHSFINDINGS FROM FREEDOM HOUSE’S FREEDOM OF THE PRESS REPORTPresentation at theAfrican Union Mission to the United NationsMay 28, 2013, New York
  • FREEDOM OF THE PRESS INDEX—BASICS The 2013 index expands a process conducted since1980 Provides analytical reports and numerical ratings for197 countries and territories, written by analystswith regional or country-specific expertise and basedboth in the U.S. and internationally Covers print, broadcast, and Internet news mediafreedom
  • WHAT IS THE SCORING PROCESS? Each country is scored out of 100 points, with a highernumber indicating less freedom Possible points are divided among 23 methodologyquestions, divided into three categories:• Legal Environment: 0-30 points• Political Environment: 0-40 points• Economic Environment: 0-30 points• Total Score: 0-100 points Category Breakdown: Free (0-30), Partly Free (31-60), andNot Free (61-100)
  • WHAT DOES THE INDEX MEASURE? Examines entire “enabling environment” that contributesto press freedom, broken down into legal, political, andeconomic categories Includes both an examination of the media’s ability tooperate freely and without fear of repercussions as wellas the ability of the public to access diverse andindependent sources of information Examines the role of the state, as well as of non-stateactors such as media owners and editors, insurgentgroups, or any political, economic, or societal forces thatcan impact media content or practice
  • SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA PRESS FREEDOM 1980COUNTRY STATUS:• Free—2 (5%)• Partly Free—8(18%)• Not Free—34 (77%)FreePartly FreeNot Free
  • SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA PRESS FREEDOM 1990FreePartly FreeNot FreeCOUNTRY STATUS:• Free—3 (7%)• Partly Free—3 (7%)• Not Free—37 (86%)
  • SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA PRESS FREEDOM 2000FreePartly FreeNot FreeCOUNTRY STATUS:• Free—6 (13%)• Partly Free—16(33%)• Not Free—26 (54%)
  • BIGGEST GAINS AND DECLINES 2008-2012,AFRICA-20-15-13-75567771111143035-30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40MaliMadagascarGuinea-BissauAngolaEthiopiaSouth AfricaRwandaZambiaCôte dIvoireKenyaLiberiaSierra LeoneMauritaniaZimbabweNigerTunisiaLibyaPartly FreeNot Free-5-6
  • ISSUES OF GREATEST CONCERN Existence and use of harsh laws against journalists• Criminal libel, “insult” laws, vaguely worded lawsregarding national security, public order, or morality Intimidation, harassment, and violence against journalists• Committed by state and non-state actors• Impunity for perpetrators Government control of public media• Editors at state-owned media are pressured to coverruling party favorably• Due to economic constraints, state-ownedmedia, especially in the broadcast sector, often havethe widest reach in a country
  • RECENT POSITIVE TRENDS Passage of Access to Information laws• Laws recently passed in Nigeria, Liberia, and Rwanda• Importance in exposing and fightingcorruption, developing investigative reporting Continent-wide initiatives such as the Table MountainDeclaration, which calls for decriminalization of libel andfor press freedom to be a priority for Africangovernments; decriminalization has also been endorsedby African Commission on Human & Peoples’ Rights Growth of internet and mobile technology and itspotential to strengthen freedom of expression• Internet and mobile spheres are generally free fromgovernment control• Use of mobile phones to call in to popular radio talkshows increases public participation in societal debate
  • For additional information:Please visit our website atwww.freedomhouse.orgor contact Jennifer Dunham atdunham@freedomhouse.org