Freedom of speech is not just valuable as a democratic end in itself. It is strongly linked to popular perceptions of both media effectiveness and good governance, according to new data from Afrobarometer, collected during face-to-face interviews with 51,605 people in 34 countries during 2011-13 . People who indicate they are free to say what they think also report higher levels of trust in their leaders, lower levels of corruption, and better government performance – especially greater success in fighting corruption. Greater freedom of expression is also linked to mass media that are more effective in keeping a watchful eye on government.
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