Media of Botswana
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Media in Botswana is controlled by the government.
In 2003, there were an estimated 76 mainline telephones for every 1,000 people. The same year, there were approximately 297 mobile phones in use for every 1,000 people.
Television, Radio and Internet
The government controls the content of nearly all radio and television broadcasts through the Botswana Press Agency (BOPA), which produces the free Daily News newspaper, Radio Botswana and Radio Botswana 2 (which broadcast nationally to most of the country), and Botswana Television (BTV). Radio Botswana broadcasts, in English and Setswana, a variety of news, educational, cultural, and entertainment programs. In 2004, there were two private radio stations, Yarona FM and Gabz FM, broadcasting in 5 of the country’s 10 largest towns. The privately owned Gaborone Broadcasting Company (GBC) is the only other television station in the country; it broadcasts mostly foreign programming.
In 2003, there were an estimated 150 radios and 44 television sets for every 1,000 people. The same year, there were 40.7 personal computers for every 1,000 people and 35 of every 1,000 people had access to the Internet. There was one secure Internet server in the country in 2004.
There is one daily newspaper in Botswana, the government published Dikgang Tsa Gompieno (or Daily News, circulation 50,000 in 2002) in both English and Setswana. The government also publishes, in a bilingual edition, the monthly magazine Kutlwaro (circulation 24,000). In 2002, 4 independent newspapers were publishing on a weekly basis, with a total circulation of over 50,000. Mmegi, or The Reporter, is published in both Setswana and English with a weekly circulation of 24,000. The major political parties publish monthly journals.
Freedom of Speech
The Constitution of Botswana ensures a free press and free speech, and the government is said to highly respect these rights.
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