Botswana | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2004

2004 Scores

Press Status


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


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


Freedom of speech and of the press is enshrined in the constitution, and the government generally respects these rights in practice. A small but robust independent press is often critical of the government but has recently encountered censorship and libel suits. The state dominates broadcast media, despite recent inroads by private enterprise. Government critics and the political opposition allege that they have insufficient access to these outlets, which explicitly support government policies and actions. In November, the government suspended a segment of Radio Botswana's popular morning show Masa-a-sele, previously used by opposition parties to attack the government. In retaliation for their critical reporting, several journalists were threatened or attacked.