Botswana





Basic Data

Botswana

Official Country Name: Republic of Botswana
Region (Map name): Africa
Population: 1,576,470
Language(s): English, Setswana
Literacy rate: 69.8%

Background and General Characteristics

Botswana (bot-SWA-na) is a landlocked country in southern Africa, which used to be known as Bechuanaland. It covers 224,610 square miles, making it slightly bigger than Texas. Botswana is bordered by South Africa to the south, Zimbabwe to the northeast, Zambia to the north, and Namibia to the west and north.

In the 1800s, Bechuanaland became a British protectorate, meaning that it was under the protection and control of Britain. After undergoing a series of governmental structures, including the use of white and black advisory councils, in 1965 the county attained self-government, with Sereste Khama as its first African head of government. After further successful negotiations with Britain, on September 30, 1966, the former Bechuanaland became the sovereign Republic of Botswana, with Khama as the new president. In the early 20th century, Botswana was one of the truly democratic African countries. The 1.6 million citizens of this sparsely populated semi-desert country have enjoyed democratic freedoms found in few other African countries.

Print Media

In the early twenty-first century, there were four print news media outlets in Botswana. The Botswana Daily News , published in English and Setswana, was established in 1964. With a circulation in the 25,000 to 50,000 range, it was the country's largest newspaper in 2002. Below it, with circulations from 10,000 to 25,000, were the Botswana Guardian , an English weekly established in 1982; The Botswana Gazette , another English weekly; and Mmegi wa Digmang (The Reporter), also a weekly, published in English and Setswana, established in 1984. The Daily News , Mmegi wa Digmang , and the Botswana Guardian were Botswana's largest and most influential newspapers. The Daily News was state owned. The others were privately owned.

Press Laws

The Botswana independence constitution of September 1966 (amended in August and September 1997) guaranteed freedom of expression to all residents. Unlike many African countries, where the ruling party bans opposition views and news from newspapers, radio and television, Botswana has allowed a diversity of views and allowed robust debate in the electronic and print media. As of 2002, journalists were not licensed or required to register. Newspapers and journalists did not have to post bonds to do their work. There was no censorship, but journalists operated according to community standards by avoiding material that would be considered obscene or offensive. Foreign media and journalists also operated freely and openly. The University of Botswana was establishing a Department of Journalism, which will provide training.

Broadcast Media

In 2002, Botswana television offered MultiChoice Botswana and Gaberone Television. The latter was owned by Gaberone Broadcasting Corp. and was a private television channel that reached about 20 percent of the population. South African television was also accessible in most of Botswana. As of the early twenty-first century, however, radio remained the most common means of mass communication in Botswana. The number of radio receivers increased from 180,000 in 1994 to 230,000 in 1996, while the number of television receivers rose from 24,000 to 29,000 during the same period. Government-owned Radio Botswana broadcast in English, the official language, and Setswana. Its work was complemented by Radio Botswana 2, an FM channel accessible only in Gaberone, the country's capital. There were also two private radio stations: GABZ-FM and VA RONA-FM.

News Agencies

The Botswana Press Agency (BOPA) is a government-owned domestic news agency. Foreign news agencies, including the South African Press Association and Reuters, have operated freely in the country.

Summary

The Botswana print media are robust, operate with little or no government restrictions and relations with the government are good. The broadcast media are government controlled, but are not abused by government officials. For the first 26 years of Botswana's independence, democracy has prevailed, and the future looks bright for the media.

Bibliography

Africa . New York: Worldmark Press, Ltd., 1988.

Africa South of the Sahara . London: Europa Publications, 2002.

Ainslie, R. The Press in Africa . New York: Walker and Co., 1966.

Barton, F. The Press of Africa . New York: Africana Publishing Co., 1979.

Country Profile: Botswana . London: British Broadcasting Corporation, 2002.

International Year Book . New York: Editor and Publisher, 2002.

Liebenow, J. Gus. African Politics . Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1986.

Merrill, John C., ed. Global Journalism: Survey of International Communication . Boston: Longman, 1993.

Middleton, John, ed. Encyclopedia of Africa: South of the Sahara . New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1997.

Tendayi S. Kumbula

Also read article about Botswana from Wikipedia

User Contributions:

TEFO
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Oct 17, 2008 @ 10:10 am
This article helped me a lot!!thanx batswana betsho!!
Fortune
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May 28, 2009 @ 1:01 am
Contrary to what these article states, Radio Botswana broadcasts in both Setswana and English, as they are the two official languages. The private radio stations are Gabz FM, Yarona FM and Duma FM.
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Nov 26, 2010 @ 4:04 am
WHY BTV WAS ESTABLISHED? AND HOW DOES IT BENEFIT THE PEOPLE OF BOTSWANA. DOES IT EDUCATES ITS PEOPLE OR DOES THE OPPOSITE?
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Mar 22, 2011 @ 7:07 am
I WANT TO KNOW HOW CAN A PERSON GET CHANCE TO GO AND EXPLORE,WACTH AND LEARN GET A FEELING OF WHAT IS BEING DONE BEHIND THE SCREEN?AM AM A STUDENT STUDIENG SOUND TECHNOLOGY
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May 5, 2011 @ 2:02 am
Good morning, my name is Bright, I wanted to ask if it is possible that someone can volunteer to become a radio presenter at RB1 mainly on the section of Culture and Entertainment, I am working temporarily at the Parliament of Botswana as a graphic designer doing the layout of the Hansard.
Nephas Zulu
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Dec 14, 2011 @ 5:05 am
I LOVE WATHCHING BT TV ANB I LOVE THE PRESENTATION THAT YOU HAVE.HOWEVER, I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW I CAN JOIN THE BT TV TEAM.I AM A QUALIFIED ZAMBIAN JOURNALIST WITH A DIPLOMA AND I HAVE WORKED FOR A NATIONAL TV STATION IN THE DEPARTMENT OF NEWS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS.I HAVE BEEN IN THE BROADCASTING INDUSTRY FOR FOUR YEARS.
pona
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Sep 20, 2012 @ 3:03 am
Thanks to this article,anywy what can i do to show that i have the good skills of presenting on tv.
T MADIBANA
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Oct 31, 2012 @ 2:02 am
BATHONG THANKS FOR THIS INFORMATION,I COULD HAVE NOT COMPLETED MY SCHOOL WORK,AM PROGRESSING FOR MY BA(HONS)IN DIGITAL FILM
Akanyang
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Feb 4, 2013 @ 4:04 am
The article is educative,provided i have lernt a lot and and thought of joining the Press as a free lancer, im a final year student in the Faculty of Communication, Media and Broadcasting. Limkokwing Botswana studying BA (Hons) in Digital Film & Television.
amanda dichabe
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Mar 10, 2014 @ 5:05 am
What is the mandate of a public broadcaster such as botswana television,its programming, audience ,finally ownership/ control of it?
Mmopi Ramaphane
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Aug 25, 2014 @ 9:09 am
I want to know how advertising had helped our local newspapers,preventing them from extinction
LUCIA TSHEPO
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Oct 3, 2015 @ 11:11 am
I want to know more about radio in Botswana. i hear it was a powerful tool in the past; during colonialism, pre-independece and post independence
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Mar 24, 2016 @ 4:04 am
i want to know the professionalism of journalists in the print media
please help if you have the information its for my dissertation topic
keleabetswe
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Mar 21, 2017 @ 4:04 am
can you provide information about pioners who made it as proffessional communiction analysits, is it a stable job

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