Africa

Africa

Many different levels of press freedom exist in Africa, from Senegal and its lively newspapers to Eritrea and Djibouti, where there are no privately-owned media at all. After a wave of liberalisation in the 1990s, press freedom violations are now only too common. They include arbitrary censorship, especially on the Internet (by means of ad hoc Internet cuts in some countries), arrests of journalists on the grounds of combatting cybercrime, fake news or terrorism, and acts of violence against media personnel that usually go completely unpunished. Respect for press freedom is still largely dependent on the political and social context. Elections and protests are often accompanied by abuses against journalists. The financial weakness of many media outlets makes them susceptible to political and financial influence that undermines their independence. For the most part, state-owned media still tend to be governmental mouthpieces or propaganda tools and have a long way to go before they become really independent public service media reflecting a wide range of opinion. On the pretext of combatting disinformation and hate speech, many countries have adopted new laws in recent years with vague and draconian provisions that can easily be used to gag journalists. Another disturbing phenomenon is the increase in online attacks, often by trolls close or directly linked to the government, that are designed to discredit or intimidate journalists. African journalists were hit hard by the coronavirus crisis in 2020, suffering three times as many attacks and arrests from 15 March to 15 May as during the same period the year before, according to RSF’s tally.
in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index

Ranking

0

in 2020

Global score

0

0 in 2020

Contacts