reportedly under a heavy deficit of 40
million emalangeni. Hot on the heels of
the financial woes, the ICT Ministry suspended the financial director and chief
executive officer.
Both state broadcasters made headlines following under-reported stories
of sexual harassment of female media
practitioners. Instead of dealing with
this serious matter, the ICT ministry and
management of the state broadcasters swept it under the carpet. Even the
Swaziland Editors’ Forum (SEF) failed to
raise this issue at its quarterly breakfast
meetings with the prime minister.
After the collapse of salary negotiations
between the Media Workers Union of
Swaziland (MWUS) and the Swazi Observer Group of Newspapers, MWUS
members embarked on a strike to press
the media company to meet their demands for a salary hike. Swaziland
Shopping, a weekly business newspaper, reported that one of the staff grievances was sexual harassment of female
media workers perpetrated by one of the
male media managers. No action was
taken by media bodies, media owners
and editors to investigate allegations of
sexual harassment.
In 2016, two journalists working for the
Times of Swaziland were arrested for
corrupt practices. One was accused of
taking money from a subject of his story
in order to suppress his story. The other
was accused of extorting money from
people by impersonating investigators
from the Anti-Corruption Commission
(ACC). After a disciplinary hearing, the
Times dismissed the former while the
latter was arrested by ACC investigators.

Media Landscape
Instead of experiencing any appreciable growth, the Swazi media sector


So This is Democracy? 2016

remained stagnant due to the shrinkage
of advertising revenues. The two struggling tabloid newspapers, namely the
Swazi Mirror and Ingwazi News had to
close shop. In 2016, there were only
two media start-ups, namely Buzlink
Sports, a sports and business magazine,
and a business weekly, Business Express.
These privately owned publications
were struggling as they could not command regular space in the newsstands.
The media environment favours the
Times of Swaziland Group of Newspapers and Swazi Observer Group of
Newspapers. The former publishes the
Times of Swaziland, Swazi News and
Times of Swaziland Sunday while the
latter the Swazi Observer, Observer on
Saturday and Sunday Observer. Small
publications such as Independent News
and Swaziland Shopping are struggling
to keep afloat due to scarce advertising
revenues. Swaziland has two monthly
magazines: The Nation and Agribusiness, which are also limping along.

Victory for media sector when government
heeded calls for reinstatement of journalism in list of priority
Two state broadcasters dominate the
electronic media, namely the Swaziland
Broadcasting and Information Service
(radio) and Swaziland Television and

Select target paragraph3