The Namibian press continues to be one of the freest in the continent despite repeated attempts by the authorities and the ruling part to curb its virulent criticism.

In an unprecedented move anywhere in Africa, President Sam Nujoma declared himself to be minister of information and broadcasting in a cabinet reshuffle in August 2002 in order to sort out the state-owned radio and TV broadcaster, NBC. A month later, he ordered NBC to stop carrying foreign TV series and films with scenes of sex and violence because they were a "bad influence on Namibian youth." He called for "lewd" programmes to replaced by subject matter "showing Namibia in a positive light," especially the country's "nature and animals."

The Namibian, an independent daily, was the target of an advertising boycott for the second year running. The ministry of information had asked state-owned enterprises and parastatals to stop placing advertising with The Namibian in 2001. In September 2002, it was the turn of the youth league of the South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) to ask state authorities not to buy advertising space from the newspaper because it ram a cartoon portraying President Nujoma as a dog attacking British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The league also asked the information minister (President Nujoma) for tougher legislation for those who insult the head of state.


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