Freedom of the Press

Bolivia

Bolivia

Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

25

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

14

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

4

The penal code punishes slander and defamation of public officials with up to three years imprisonment. Journalists consequently exercise considerable self-censorship. Journalists are licensed by the government and must have a college degree in journalism. Substantial state advertising goes to friendly newspapers. The press, however, plays a major role in offsetting judicial corruption. The press, radio, and television are mostly private. A law passed in December threatens to suspend media outlets that do not respect the rules on circulation of political propaganda prior to elections. The law authorizes the National Electoral Court to select which media will be allowed to circulate political propaganda and impose serious sanctions on unauthorized media. Investigative journalists covering corruption stories are occasionally subjected to intimidation by government officials, arbitrary detention by police, and violent attacks. A television journalist was mortally wounded while covering a conflict between two rival organizations battling for control of a mining cooperative. A community radio station was forced to go off the air temporarily following a failed break-in by military personnel.