Freedom of the Press

Fiji

Fiji

Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status

Partly Free

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

33

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

11

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

14

Elections in September returned parliamentary democracy to the island country. Though the press was notably freer, the government continued to pressure editors and otherwise interfere with the press. Private media outlets report on alleged official corruption and ethical violations, but some self-censorship persists. The ousted government criticized political coverage in the press and took several journalists to court over their reporting. Not enforced so far is the Press Corrections Act, which permits officials to arrest anyone who publishes "malicious" material. Under the act, officials can demand a "correcting statement" for an allegedly false or distorted article. Public and private radio stations generally provide objective news coverage. Fiji One, the only non-cable national television channel, is owned in large measure by provincial governments, but the station generally provides balanced news coverage.