News August 10, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Minister interferes again in editorial policy of state news media The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa A decision by Botswana’s communication, science and technology minister, Boyce Sebeleta (photo), to drop the “Political Profiles” section from the state-owned Daily News and the press review from the state-owned Radio Botswana was “unacceptable meddling,” Reporters Without Borders said today.”This meddling in the editorial policies of these media is all the more unacceptable as it seriously weakens news diversity, because the two sections that have been eliminated offered a forum to the opposition in the first case and the privately-owned press in the second,” the organisation said.”This is not the first time that Sebeleta has initiated such acts of censorship with the aim of silencing anyone criticising the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP),” Reporters Without Borders continued. Such abuses were “really worrying” in what was one of Africa’s most open countries as regards press freedom,” it added.Over the years, “Political Profiles” had become one of the mainstay’s of The Daily News, which is distributed free of charge. No explanation accompanied Sebeleta’s orders to drop it. Director of Information services Bapasi Mphusu has said its elimination is just temporary and that it was dictated by the need to modernise.But that is questioned by the opposition, which thinks the government is just trying to prevent it from having a voice in the country’s most widely-read newspaper two months before legislative elections.The jettisoning of Radio Botswana’s press review, which gave a lot of space to the privately-owned media, is seen as new evidence that the communication minister wants to gag independent newspapers. The Daily News used to be financed entirely by the government, but Sebeleta ordered it to start taking advertising last year and thereby compete with the privately-owned press. The editor of a local weekly said at the time: “We depend totally on advertising revenue to survive so this change will kill off alternative voices.”Another Radio Botswana programme, “Masa-a-sele,” which let listeners express their views on current affairs, was dropped at the end of last year. Sebeleta said it gave too much space to criticism of the ruling BDP. News BotswanaAfrica RSF_en Covid-19 emergency laws spell disaster for press freedom to go further Receive email alerts Organisation News June 12, 2020 Find out more Reports BotswanaAfrica November 27, 2020 Find out more Follow the news on Botswana Help by sharing this information Covid-19 in Africa: RSF joins a coalition of civil society organizations to demand the release of imprisoned journalists on the continent April 6, 2020 Find out more
Lussier, who works in environmental protection, said he was not yet ready to give up on a Sanders candidacy but said he would back Biden if he wins the nomination.He considers Biden a “career politician” and is hesitant to trust him, but admits there is something about Barack Obama’s vice president that is appealing.”I think he is very charming, I can understand why he has a lot of support. “He has a really amazing story,” added Lussier, referring to the death of Biden’s first wife and daughter in a car crash in 1972 and the death of son Beau from brain cancer in 2015.Less conciliatory is 28-year-old Melanie G, who is fiercely pro-Sanders and continues to denounce the “status quo” that Biden represents.’Experience’ But Melanie, who did not disclose her last name, concedes she would still vote for him against Trump.”He is the lesser of two evils,” she told AFP.Shawnna Lea Zeranek, a 41-year-old project coordinator for a software company, said she voted for Biden on Tuesday.”I was really happy with the Obama administration and so as much as there has been some complaints about Joe Biden himself, I have faith he spent eight years with a man who did a really good job and I think he could continue that,” she told AFP.Thirty-eight-year-old Scott Gale, who runs an internet advertising company, has also come to terms with the idea of voting for Biden. Gale would have preferred Pete Buttigieg, the young former mayor from Indiana, but he pulled out of the race on Sunday and backed Biden after a poor result in the South Carolina primary.”He is not a fantastic orator,” Gale said of Biden, who has appeared confused at times on the campaign trail and made several odd remarks.”I’d love to have someone who doesn’t have these gaffes. But I think he has the right heart for the job. He has a lot of experience and I think he would be capable of trying to pull the country together.”As many voters do, Gale also likes that Biden regularly smiles.”When I see Trump touring factories and stuff, he is always very serious. I like seeing a smile on the president’s face from time to time,” he said. Topics : Sanders easily won on his home turf, as expected, but he did so by a much smaller margin than in 2016. He took 50.7 percent of votes, down from 86.1 percent four years ago.Across the 14 states that voted on Tuesday, Biden won 10 of them, with Sanders picking up just three. The race in California was still up in the air, with Sanders leading.”I am personally disappointed,” said Bobby Lussier, a 22-year-old Sanders voter.”But I kind of have to accept that the rest of the country is coalescing around a different candidate,” he told AFP. In Bernie Sanders’ Vermont stronghold, leftists say they could vote for once-again Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden, backing him as a “charming” guy capable of reducing tensions in America.From the Green Mountain State, self-described democratic socialist Sanders has spent 40 years denouncing the Democratic establishment — including Biden, who he links to Wall Street billionaires and other interest groups.But Super Tuesday voting suggested many in Vermont feel that the pragmatism of Biden has a better chance of defeating Donald Trump in November than the progressive idealism of Sanders.