Freedom of the Press

Swaziland

Swaziland

Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Not Free

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

74

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

26

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

25

Freedom of expression is seriously restricted, especially regarding political issues or matters concerning the royal family. Legislation bans the publication of any criticism of the monarchy, and journalists are occasionally prosecuted on criminal defamation charges. As a result, self-censorship is widely practiced. Journalists at Swaziland's only independent daily reported that they have trouble gaining access to official information. The government controls most broadcast media and finances a daily newspaper; it discourages critical news coverage at these outlets. However, broadcast and print media from South Africa are available. Reporters continued to be subjected to some intimidation and physical harassment at the hands of police and security forces. The government withholds advertising from the independent press and occasionally proscribes publications without providing adequate justification.