Monday , 6 February 2023
Every global development index is flushing into the red zone whenever Madagascar is to be rated. The time has come for Reporters Without Borders to prove the tendency right by rating Madagascar to the 134th rank in its world chart. We are certainly not the odd one out to contradict them!

Press freedom in free fall

So, Madagascar has lost 40 places, and is currently lagging behind somewhere close to the bottom end.  

This deterioration is obviously subsequent to the present crisis; however, it might happen to have far deeper roots than previously thought. It has already been repeatedly attested that journalism and communication are meddling too closely in Madagascar. Just in order to make a decent living, lots of reporters actually do not hesitate to report in whatever way wanted by whoever can pay for it. 

Let’s recall that the crisis originated in latest December from the Ravalomanana government’s decision to deny broadcasting right to a station belonging Andry Rajoelina, at the time capital city mayor. The struggle engulfed the street, and on January 26th, arsons engulfed the national TV and radio stations as well as the MBS media group’s facilities, arsons caused by Andry Rajoelina’s supporters. 

This struggle for the communication kept going on within radio waves and national news services. Following the completion of the Putsch on March 17th, records of Malagasy media groups complained of an acute upsurge of censorship. 

A journalist has been killed in action on February 7th, at the time of a demonstration led by Andry Rajoelina in front of the presidential palace’s gates; another one has been arrested by the beginning of May, after the Putsch. 

In face of censorship, the new media systems, namely Internet, are serving as the ultimate lifejacket, however offering a large panel of various free speech means.