Afrobarometer Survey Shows Media Freedom in Decline to Minority View 

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Professor Gyimah-Boadi, Executive Director, Afrobarometer
Professor Gyimah-Boadi, Executive Director, Afrobarometer

The sixth Afrobarometer Pan-Africa Profiles series based on recent public-opinion surveys in 34 African countries, shows that support for media freedom has dropped to below half of the adult population in the countries surveyed.

The survey finding shows that media-freedom supporters are now outnumbered by those who believe governments should have the right to prevent publications they consider harmful.

Afrobarometer report shows that declines in support for unfettered media were recorded in 25 of the 31 countries it tracked since 2011, including steep drops in Tanzania (-33 percentage points), Cape Verde, Uganda, and Tunisia.

It also shows that many Africans who believe that media in their countries have more freedoms today than they did several years ago, often see this more as problematic than as progress, according to the data the group gathered and analysed.

The new report also analyzes Africans’ news habits and shows that radio remains ahead of television as the most widely accessed source of news.

The use of the Internet and social media as news sources though is expanding, data show however that a large digital divide still exists to the disadvantage poorer, less-educated, older, rural, and female citizens.

The report is available and can be downloaded at www.afrobarometer.org.