BP7: Freedom of speech, media exposure, and the defense of a free press in Africa

Welcome to the Afrobarometer publications section. For short, topical analyses, try our briefing papers (for survey rounds 1-5) and dispatches (starting with Round 6). For longer, more technical analyses of policy issues, check our policy papers. Our working papers are full-length analytical pieces developed for publication in academic journals or books. You can also search the entire publications database by keyword(s), language, country, and/or author.

Can't find a document?

As we work to upgrade our website, occasional technical issues may cause some links to break and some documents to be temporarily unavailable. If you're unable to find a specific document, please email snkomo@afrobarometer.org

Filter content by:

Briefing papers

Africans value freedom of speech.  In Afrobarometer surveys in a dozen African countries, people say that democracy requires that citizens are able to criticize the performance of governments.  It seems reasonable to suppose that the liberty of individuals to express themselves evolves together with the emergence of a free press.   This connection raises important questions.  Does exposure to a plural mass media – or to other, informal modes of communication – promote popular democratic values?  What happens to such values when governments control the media of mass communications?  Are ordinary Africans – or the opinion leaders among them – willing to stand up to defend press freedom?   After documenting relevant facts about public opinion and media exposure, this briefing paper offers answers to these questions.