Botswana press freedom ranking continues to drop, this is according to the Paris-based press freedom- advocatcy organisation, Reporters Without Borders RSF. Published on April 26, the index, which ranks 180 countries according to indicators such as media independence, self-censorship, rule of law and transparency, ranks Botswana at position 48 with 24.93 points. This is a consecutive drop in which Botswana dropped one place from the 42nd place in 2015 to 43rd last year.
The Middle East and North Africa remained the most dangerous regions for journalists. “In Burundi, the secret service arrested and imprisoned several reporters. Similar attacks were also reported in Uganda.
“But Namibia and Botswana were relative bastions of press freedom in the continent. The situation also improved in Eritrea, with a handful of foreign journalists allowed to travel to the country under strict supervision,” states the report.
The Philippines rose 11 places, with the number of journalists killed falling sharply last year. In Colombia, the peace agreement with the FARC rebels had a positive effect after 52 years of armed conflict.
For the first time in seven years, no reporter died due to his or her work.
Norway came out top of the Index with the world’s most free media. Russia, Egypt, Vietnam, China, Syria, Turkmenistan and North Korea all fared poorly in the report.
North Korea wrestled position 180 from Eritrea, which had occupied the position for a decade.
“Even listening to a foreign radio broadcast can lead to a spell in a concentration camp,” the report said of North Korea.
RSF Secretary General Christophe Deloire said, “The rate at which democracies are approaching the tipping point is alarming for all those who understand that, if media freedom is not secure, then none of other freedoms can’t be guaranteed”.