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Periodical article Periodical article
Title:The role of social media in freeing Botswana from state control of the media
Author:Jotia, Agreement L.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Contemporary African Studies (ISSN 1469-9397)
Geographic term:Botswana
Subjects:social media
freedom of the press
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02589001.2018.1464131
Abstract:This paper argues that social media is important in any state which claims to be a democracy and that failure to have robust media involvement in the democratic process is likely to jeopardise democratic principles. Although Botswana has been crowned as a successful story of African democracy over time, it is argued here that she is a liberal democracy marred by some shortcomings - especially those that have to do with government-media relations. The paper contends that the media (both government and private) is an indisputable partner in the deliberative democratic process, which should be nurtured and celebrated. A case is made that relations between the Botswana government and the country's media houses has of late become hostile, as evidenced by the arrests and detentions of journalists. Premised on deliberative democratic theory, the article argues that a state which claims to be democratic, such as Botswana, needs to respect basic fundamental principles of democracy, such as freedom of the press.