Namibia Again Tops African Press Freedom Charts

Namibia has moved five places on the global press freedom charts, becoming 17th in the world, while clinging onto its top spot in Africa – for the fourth year running.

The country was ranked 22nd last year, but a relatively incident-free spell saw the country becoming 17th in the world above Western powerhouses such as the USA, UK and France – according to the 2015 Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index.

The Reporters Without Borders Index measures the state of media freedom each year globally and reflects the degree of freedom that journalists, news media and citizens enjoy in each country.

It also takes into account efforts made by the authorities to respect and ensure respect for this freedom, and further measures the level of self-censorship in each country and the ability of the media to investigate and criticize.

Globally, Namibia ranked 21st in 2012 and 19th in 2013. In Africa, the country is followed by Ghana, Cape Verde, South Africa, Botswana and Burkina Faso respectively.

Finland tops the world press freedom charts, followed by other Nordic countries Norway (2nd) and Denmark (3rd). Netherlands is ranked fourth globally, followed by Sweden.

Eritrea is ranked the worst country in the world in this regard, followed by North Korea. Belarus is Europe’s worst-ranked country, according to the 2015 index.

Namibia’s ranking is mainly owed to the peace and stability which prevail in the country.

However, there were dark spots on press freedom in Namibia during the period under review when freelance journalist Clemans Miyanicwe – working for The Namibian – was assaulted at Khorixas in December last year.

An unknown man hit the journalist with a beer bottle in the face and claimed that Miyanicwe had written a defamatory article about his father.

Also, in November last year, it was reported that United Democratic Front (UDF) politician Nampara Amgabes allegedly threatened to ‘beat up’ Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) journalist Blanche Goreses during the party’s star rally at Khorixas.

Amgabes was angry because the NBC crew on the particular Saturday was not covering a march as well as the arrival of the UDF president Apius !Auchab in the town, The Namibian reported at the time.

Source : New Era