Freedom of the Press

Botswana

Botswana

Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)

30

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

13

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

11

Freedom of expression is provided for in the constitution and is generally respected, but the government imposes some limits on the press. Undesirable news stories and sources are subject to censorship, and several libel suits have been filed against members of the press in recent years. In November, an independent, self-regulatory press council was established. Although the private press is lively and is generally able to scrutinize the government, news coverage in the state-owned media supports official policies and actions. In addition, the opposition has alleged that it receives insufficient access to government-controlled media outlets. Several journalists were threatened or attacked during the year in retaliation for their critical reporting. In recent years, the government has used advertising bans in order to punish independent media outlets.