The traditional media outlets in Swaziland is crossing some barriers on the way of development. The media outlets are restricted to many extents and are unable to reach the common people. In most of the cases, the poor infrastructure, economic instability of the country, poverty of the people, monarchy, less per capita income – among others are contributing to hamper to the way of development for the media outlets. In some parts of the country, purchasing a newspaper is considered as a sign of luxury. Besides, the country is landlocked and thus it is devoid of some other facilities like the neighboring countries.
Some other factors are also compounding the situation like the spread of HIV/ AIDS, illiteracy, threats to journalists, violence on journalists and more. The country is often ruled by decree that suppresses the freedom of the expression. In fact, the media outlets are unable to exercise the freedom in the country as they are bound to follow some rules and orders instructed and initiated by the government. As a result, the state-press relationship is not so adorable in the country and often there are some unwanted actions on the media found which are taken from the government’s end. And such actions really hamper the improvement of the media outlets.
Censorship on media is a very usual matter in the country. The media people are the worst sufferers of the government oppression. They are unable to express freely their thoughts and if something goes wrong, they are to bear some unendurable harassment. Actually, media is the place where almost all the government nuisance takes place. They are subject to brutality, violence, arrest and even punished without any trial. Since the country runs without a constitution, the journalists have fewer things to do. So, they maintain a sense of self-censorship all through their publications and broadcasts.
Besides, the spread of the press activities is centered on the major cities. Due to infrastructural problems and other issues, the media outlets are unable to run their operation across the country. The major activities are based on the capital and some other types of outlets are spread here and there in the major cities of Swaziland. Some of the media outlets are run by the state while there are some other media outlets run by private initiatives. But the private media outlets are doing well than the state-run initiatives. People who have their touch with the media outlets are fond of the private media outlets for their varied types of news and events.
The government imposed censorship on all the local media outlets while there are some hostile attitudes towards the foreign media outlets as well. The government, in fact, do not entertain any news and information which may destabilize the country. So, a serious censorship is also maintained in the country. And so, the media outlets in the country are muzzled.
The media outlets in the country broadcast and publish their contents using several languages. Most of the newspapers use English and Siswazi for publications. Some other local dialects are also used in this case.
The country has a single daily named as ‘The Times of Swaziland’. And the newspaper comes with a weekly subsidiary. The newspaper is owned by the state and maintains the censorship. It mostly provides the generalized information for the readers across the nation. Besides, there is some independent newsmagazine is also available that caters the needs of the people.
Like the newspaper, there is a single television station is available in the country. The television channel broadcasts news and events using the English and Siswazi language. The television station runs for seven hours in a day and is controlled by the government.
The number of radio outlets in the country is also few. But radio is considered as the most popular mode of communication. People across the country are covered by the radio stations. They come to know about the happenings instantly with the radio broadcast. But the radio outlets also maintain the censorship issues. The radio outlets are able to hold the attention of the audience for their varied programs and shows.
The sprung of the internet-based media outlets is not so much prevalent in the country. There are a few internet-based media outlets are available in the country but those are available for the urbanites. They also use the internet facility to communicate using the social websites.