Morocco Political Orientation
Government Type: Constitutional Monarchy
Head of State: King Mohammed VI
Head of Government: Aziz Akhannouch
Political Party: National Rally of Moroccan Independents (RNI)
Political Position: Center Right
MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 40.35 – Limited Freedom
World Press Freedom Rank: Morocco 144/180
According to Reporters Without Borders, journalists continue to be targeted, detained, and prisoned, and “judicial harassment” of journalists continues. In Morocco, There are tabu subjects called “red lines,” and most journalists do not cross these lines. These lines include criticism of Morocco’s King, Morocco’s authority over Western Sahara, Islam, and influential business people close to the monarchy. According to Morocco’s constitution (Article 46), “the person of the King is inviolable, and respect is owed to Him.”
Media Ownership and Government Analysis
In Morocco, TV and radio are the most influential media platforms, and the Government controls media directly and indirectly. State-owned media dominates the media landscape. For example, The National Company of Radio and Television (SNRT) (in French, Société Nationale de Radiodiffusion et de Télévision) is a state-owned broadcasting network in Morocco and SNRT runs several TV, and radio stations, alongside a website including The Al Maghribia channel (broadcasts in Arabic, Amazigh, and French), Al Aoula, Arryadia, Athaqafia, Assadissa, and Aflam TV.
The official Moroccan news agency is The Moroccan Press Agency, which the government owns. The High Authority of Audiovisual Communication (HACA) regulates and issues television/radio licenses. The HACA also lacks transparency and has nine members. His Majesty the King appoints four, the prime minister appoints two board members, and two members are respectively appointed by the President of the Chambre des Représentants and by the President of the Chambre des Conseillers. Furthermore, Morocco’s Press Code and The press law prohibit “criticism of the monarchy and Islam and effectively bars critical coverage of certain taboo subjects.” In addition, defamation is a criminal offense punishable by prison.
In summary, the Government, directly and indirectly, controls Morocco’s media since it owns and also regulates most radio and TV stations. Morocco has strict defamation laws and restrictions on expression that results in a lack of press freedom and significant censorship at the hands of the Government.
Last Updated on May 13, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
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