This huge African island enjoys a real pluralism of information and a relative freedom of expression, despite a bad law that has never been reformed. The most serious problem lies elsewhere. Too often, Malagasy politicians use the press as weapons. As a result violent political quarrels between a former and a current minister can be played out there, ending in court, where journalists face prison for defamation.
Reporters Without Borders has constantly stressed the absurdity of this situation. Moreover a new communications law decriminalising press offences which President Marc Ravalomana has been promising for five years, has never been put before parliament. The reform is in such a muddle, according to one Malagasy journalist that “the press no longer knows what law it is controlled by”.