Mauritius occupy the 63rd in the Reporters sans frontières press freedom index. The 2023 edition of this ranking was published when World Press Freedom Day on Wednesday 3 May. Out of 180 countries, Mauritius is ranked 63rd this year. The country was 64th in 2022 and 61st in 2021. In its report, RSF talks about the increase in threats and acts of intimidation against journalists, threats that were rare in recent years.
RSF mentions a highly polarised media landscape and reports that online attacks against journalists have increased. For the international organisation, the Mauritian media scene is split in two, with “on the one hand, the politicised media, with the national radio and television and the media close to the government often resorting to propaganda, and the pro-opposition media likely to be boycotted by the authorities, and on the other hand, the media with a real freedom of tone, but which can turn into sensationalism and harm the quality of information. ”
Independent, serious, and reliable media are struggling to find their place in Mauritius, according to RSF which speaks of “total control” of the political power over the MBC.
“The lack of independence of the regulatory body does not contribute to the emergence of quality journalism,” writes the organisation, which also refers to sanctions often targeting media close to the opposition. RSF refers to a highly controversial bill “calling into question the confidentiality of sources, tightening the conditions under which radio stations operate and increasing the penalties that journalists face in court. The body also mentions the increase in threats and acts of intimidation against journalists, which was rare in recent years.