A new president more sympathetic to press freedom?
Under the previous president, Ian Khama, press freedom declined alarmingly, investigative journalists were arrested, a news website was subjected to a massive cyber-attack and Botswana fell eight places in the World Press Freedom Index from 2013 to 2018. However, press freedom violations have declined under his successor, Mokgweetsi Masisi, who has at least given frequent press conferences, unlike Khama, who gave none during his ten years as president. Nonetheless, there is still no law on access to information, which journalists have long been demanding. State-owned media still falls far short of providing a public news service and continues to be under the government’s sway, to the point that they are now directly supervised from the president’s office. The few privately-owned newspapers depend on advertising that they may or may not receive from the state. Journalists say their freedom to inform is restricted by the 2008 Media Practitioners Act and many other laws.
44 in 2019
25.09 in 2019