There is a long history of censorship of the media in Swaziland. Some of this censorship we know about because it has become public in some way. But there is suspicion that a lot of censorship is taking place that we do not know about.
There have been unsubstantiated reports about the existence of censorship, be it imposed or self-censorship, in newsrooms in the kingdom. Journalists themselves, when defending themselves in various forums against accusations of sub-standard journalism and lack of investigative journalism in Swazi media, have often complained of censorship in newsrooms.
This research project concludes that there is widespread censorship in newsrooms in Swaziland. It highlights seven main areas where this censorship is manifest.
A total of 16 media practitioners were interviewed and asked to identify how much censorship existed in Swaziland. They were then questioned about their own personal experiences of censorship.
The research offers both quantitative and qualitative evidence to support its conclusions.
The Swazi monarchy and the poor state of the Swazi economy are identified as the main causes of censorship in Swaziland.
By Dr Richard Rooney, for MISA-Swaziland