Real freedom but frequent threats
Namibia’s constitution guarantees free speech and protects journalists, but the lack of a freedom of information law continues to obstruct their work. Those who dare to criticize the authorities are often the target of government threats or insults. They find refuge on the Internet, where they are less subject to control. In 2018, the Namibia Central Intelligence Service (NCIS) accused a newspaper of endangering “national security” by covering the acquisition of properties by former NCIS members, but the courts ruled in favour of the newspaper. The NCIS case was based on laws dating back to the 1980s and 1990s imposing major restrictions on the dissemination of information concerning national security. Pro-government media are meanwhile getting an ever-larger chunk of the revenue available from advertising, which is threatening the financial prospects of the privately-owned media and independent news coverage.
26 in 2018
20.24 in 2018