"The international standards referred to in this report include those of Freedom House and Reporters Without Borders, which measure media freedom, and others such as a set of indicators designed to measure progress towards media development developed by UNESCO. None of these organisations claim that their indicators are perfect or cover all issues relevant to the role of media in society. Media freedom indicators have tended to be criticised for taking an overly Western, liberal, ‘one-size- fits-all’ approach, and of not taking into consideration the cultures of Africa and other developing regions. It can be argued, for instance, that it is unfair to censure media systems that are forced, through economic necessity, to rely on political and other narrow interests for financial sponsorship and compare them unfavourably with media systems in more robust economies. It can also be argued that it is unreasonable to use the same standard to assess media in countries at very different stages of political or economic development. Within this context, this report uses some of the traditional international standards and indicators simply as short-hand: a convenient way to compare and summarise the degrees of repression and control over the media in the five countries studied."