THE STATE OF SWAZI JOURNALISM, 2013

From Swazi Media Commentary Tue Jan 1 2013, 00:56:00

One thing that shines out about journalists and their editors in Swaziland as we come to the start of a new year is the deeply cynical way they operate.

Swazi journalists claim to be upholders of fine ethical traditions of honesty and inquiry, but instead they are often publishing lies or playing with readers' emotions to boost company profits.

There are only two newspaper groups in Swaziland, the Swazi Observer, which is in effect owned by King Mwsati III, through the Tibiyo Taka Ngwane, a conglomerate of companies he holds 'in trust' for the Swazi nation, and the commercially-independent Times of Swaziland group.

I am leaving out TV and radio journalists from this discussion because nearly all of them work for the state-controlled SBIS radio or Swazi TV. These stations come under direct editorial control of the government of the day and their staffs are civil servants and not independent journalists. The one radio station and one TV channel not under direct government control either carry no news or openly support the king and the kingdom's traditionalists.

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