Freedom of the Press

Belize

Belize

Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

24

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

8

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

5

There is no regular government interference in the operation of the news media, and the constitution provides for press freedom. It also provides exceptions in the interest of national security, public order, and morality. This includes prison terms of up to three years for those who question the validity of financial disclosure statements submitted by public officials. There is no daily newspaper, though there are seven privately owned papers, three of which are subsidized by major political parties. The mostly English-language press freely publishes a variety of political viewpoints, including those critical of the regime. Radio and television carry massive political advertising during elections. Fourteen private television stations operate, including four cable systems. An independent board oversees operation of the state-run outlets.