5 May 2023
The sense of freedom that holidaymakers feel in the vastness of Namibia's landscapes can also be sensed - albeit to a lesser extent - in the country's news coverage. In terms of press freedom, the land of endless horizons has regained its top position within Africa.
This is according to the World Press Freedom Index, published by the Paris-based organisation 'Reporters Without Borders' (Reporters sans frontières (RSF)) on International Press Freedom Day. Namibia ranks 22nd among 180 countries worldwide, ahead of South Africa and the Seychelles. The latter island nation had knocked Namibia off the top spot within Africa last year, but has now dropped to fourth place.
In the RsF rating, however, Namibia has lost points compared to last year, albeit only slightly. Safety of journalists, reporting on social problems and the legal framework were slightly downgraded. Instead, there were better marks for political independence and economic conditions of journalists.
In the world ranking of 180 countries, Namibia dropped four places - from 18th to 22nd - but it is right behind Germany (21st) and ahead of France (24th), the United Kingdom (26th), Austria (29th) and Belgium (31st).
By the way, freedom of the media and Namibia are closely linked. International Press Freedom Day commemorates the 'Windhoek Declaration', adopted on 3 May 1991 at a UNESCO meeting in the Namibian capital. Officially declared by the UN General Assembly in 1993, World Press Freedom Day celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.
Many holidaymakers apparently also attach importance to press freedom when choosing their destination. At least this is what a study from 2018 suggests. A tourism expert and a political scientist from the University of Istanbul investigated for 160 countries whether and how press freedom affects inbound tourism. So for Namibia, a good ranking in the 'charts' of press freedom is also a plus in the competition among travel destinations worldwide.
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