On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day 2018, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), pays tribute to all journalists and media workers, many of whom continue to work under trying circumstances to bring citizens news and information necessary for them to make informed choices.
Over the course of 2017, MISA has witnessed the restriction of civic space across southern Africa, along with a subtle erosion of free speech rights. This, unfortunately, is compounded both by the media’s struggle for economic survival and relevance to citizens who all too easily disown their media and the critical role it plays in keeping power to account.
MISA’s analysis of the state of media freedom and free expression in southern Africa during 2017 is presented in our annual publication So This Is Democracy? The full report along with individual country chapters (Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania,Zambia and Zimbabwe) offers insights into media and free expression developments across the region and, importantly, proposes areas for joint action and prioritisation.
As we celebrate World Press Freedom Day this year, MISA remains mindful that new challenges related to political developments, technical advances and national security concerns require advocates of media freedom to constantly battle for its preservation and further enhancement. We have noted the rising and fierce criticism of the media by political figures. This encourages self-censorship and undermines the media’s credibility.
Read the Zimbabwe chapter So This Is Democracy Report for 2017