1.2 The right to freedom of expression is practiced and citizens, including journalists, are
asserting their rights without fear.
Generally there is more democratic space and more freedom of expression. The mass media
sector is part of this changing political mood.
FM radio stations have mushroomed and expanded the avenues for freedom of expression
through call- in and the live talk shows. In television recently introduced prime time slots like
“Bulls eye” (NTV) and “Parting shot/News shot” (KTN) and “Mchecheto” (Citizen TV) have
helped to demystify political leaders through satire. They also serve to moderate the
politicians’ excess of stage exhibitionism.
Freedom of information is constrained by the quality of media practitioners. Professional and
quality journalists who assert themselves are often pushed out of media establishments. Most
media practitioners lack training and can hardly assert their professional rights and role in
society. There is therefore wide uncertainty and cautiousness in carrying out their work. In
the FM stations, professionalism is lacking as most presenters are hired from among
celebrities and disc jockeys, largely on the strength of the voices.
Freedom of expression is also constrained by governments and proprietor influence. The
government instills fear to the media through threats to raise prices of newsprint or
withdrawal of adverts from certain media establishments. The media proprietors also pay
serious attention to commercial interests. They will therefore kill stories that are deemed
unfavourable to their political and commercial benefactors. This is in keeping with H.M.
McLuhan’s contention that “All news is advertising”.
Media houses often give partisan reports and as a result the public have come to identify
certain media houses with particular ethnic and political biases and affiliations. More space
and air time will thus be given for example to English football, at the expense of public
discussion on corruption, governance and corporate performance.
Individual scores:

2, 4, 3, 3, 4, 3

Average score:

3.7 (2005=3.0)

1.3 There are no laws restricting freedom of expression such as excessive official secrets or
libel acts, or laws that unreasonably interfere with the responsibilities of media.


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