MauritiusThe Republic of Mauritius, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 kilometres off the southeast coast of the African continent. The country includes the islands of Mauritius, Rodrigues (560 kilometres (350 mi) east), and the outer islands – Agaléga, St. Brandon – and two disputed territories. The islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues form part of the Mascarene Islands, along with nearby Réunion, a French overseas department. The capital and largest city is Port Louis.

At – a – glance

Capital: Port Louis

Official Language(s): English & French

President: Ameenah Gurib-Karim (since 2015)

Population: 1.3 million (2013)

National Anthem: Motherland

Media & Freedom of Expression (FoE) Landscape in Mauritius

The Constitution, adopted on March 12, 1968, and amended on March 12, 1992, guarantees press freedom and freedom of speech. By all accounts, the government of Mauritius respects these freedoms. The media in Mauritius is cited as having enjoyed a long period of freedom and plurality. Radio services are provided throughout the country by the national broadcaster, the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), and three private radio stations. Television is also provided by the MBC as well as by satellite television and broadband operators.

Since the constitution recognises freedom of expression, several private daily and weekly publications criticize both the ruling and opposition parties, but the state-owned Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation’s radio and television services generally reflect government viewpoints.

However, there are laws that ensure that journalists do not incite violence and unnecessary panic.

For more information on the status of FoE in Mauritius, visit Freedom House

Media regulatory bodies in Mauritius

The Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) is a corporate body set up under an Act of Parliament in June 1964. It is independent and it is administered and controlled by a board which is appointed by the Government. Since the board is appointed by government, their objectivity is sometimes questioned.

There is also a branch of the Commonwealth Journalists Association in the country as well as the Mauritian Journalists Association.

Also, in August 2000, the National Assembly passed the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act, which created the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) with a mandate to regulate and license all radio and television broadcasting. The law provided for the private ownership of broadcast stations and reemphasized the independence of the IBA.