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Africans rely on radio for news than Internet – Survey

Majority of Africans rely on radio as their main source of news than any other medium, a latest survey finding has revealed.

According to the latest Afrobarometer analysis highlights released on World Press Freedom Day, radio continue to be dominant in Africa, despite the surge in Internet usage.

“Across 34 African countries surveyed during Round 5 (2011/2013), on average 62% of respondents get news every day from at least one media source. Radio remains the dominant source of daily news (46%), followed by television (37%), newspapers (9%), and the Internet (7%),” the survey revealed.

It added: “But there are notable shifts in the media environment Across 16 countries tracked since 2002, daily use of radio to obtain news has dropped markedly, from 61% in 2002/2003 to 49% in 2011/2013. Daily use of newspapers is also down, from 13% to 9% over the same time period. Television, in contrast, is gaining audience, climbing from 26% to 33%.

“The Internet claimed 7% of the population as daily consumers in 2011/2013, though its growth has not yet been tracked over time.”

Key findings
A solid majority (57%) of Africans support the media’s right to publish what it wants without government interference.

Africans also support an active “watchdog” role for the press: On average, 69% believe that the media should exercise this role.

Similarly, a majority (64%) believe the media is effective in exposing government mistakes and corruption.

More than one-third (36%) of respondents say the media “often” or “always” publishes things it knows are not true. In some countries, this perception is shared by large majorities of citizens.

Also, the survey shows that a majority of Africans support an independent news media and expect the press to play an active role in reporting on poor government performance and corruption.

In addition, 57% of respondents demand media freedom, although some countries and regions are more willing to tolerate government control than others. Less educated citizens are less likely to support a free news media that holds governments accountable.

Almost two-thirds of Africans say the media is effective in its watchdog role, but significant proportions – and in some countries large majorities – say the news media abuses its freedom by publishing lies.

Afrobarometer is an African-led, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues across more than 30 countries in Africa.



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