CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BOTSWANA PRESS

Richard Rooney

Abstract


There are serious deficiencies in our knowledge of the press in Botswana in terms of its political economy, the professional practices of its journalists, and the editorial content of newspapers. This paper analyses the newspapers in Botswana. It begins with a general overview of Botswana and maps the newspaper landscape in the country. It then sets out some of the key characteristics of the press in Botswana by answering three research questions. (i) What are the characteristics of the editorial content in Botswana newspapers? (ii) How does the state-controlled Daily News impact on the newspaper market generally? (iii) What are the capacities of journalists in Botswana and where might there be areas for improvement? The paper utilizes a content analysis of the editorials of the country’s newspapers identifying the main news agendas and also the sources of information that journalists rely on for their reports. It concludes that the Daily News distorts the newspaper market and undermines the private press; that there is a diverse private press, but that all newspapers rely on powerful voices for their editorial content to the exclusion of ordinary people; and that while there are many attributes of the press to admire, there is a need for the capabilities of journalists to be improved.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5789/6-1-80

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