Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status


Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


While the news media are free, journalists have been increasingly pressured by the government's plan to criminalize certain investigative press activities. Legal restrictions, although seldom invoked, forbid reporting deemed detrimental to morality or national security. Strict libel laws and the increasing number of lawsuits filed against journalists by political figures cloud coverage. Political figures harassed journalists, according to Reporters sans Frontieres. The increasing concentration of media ownership limits the pluralism of coverage and has raised anti-trust concerns. The Austrian Broadcasting Company (ORF) controls all domestic television programming, and private TV is transmitted by cable or satellite. State radio also dominates its field. As a result of a merger in 2000, the Newsgroup company controls 55 percent of the market in daily newspapers and 70 percent of the magazine market.