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)


During this year of tumultuous elections, the news media demonstrated their freedom to report and criticize both the government and its opposition. There are numerous independent newspapers and radio stations, and a private television station. Harsh libel laws have been used to rein in the independent press, but constitutional guarantees of press freedom are generally recognized in practice. Journalists from one independent newspaper were detained for questioning after publishing an article that linked Osama bin Laden's terrorist network to a Benin connection. The paper later retracted the story. The government criticized the newspaper and withdrew government aid to the paper.