Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status

Partly Free

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


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


Two national television channels are state-controlled, favor government points of view, and reach audiences larger than those of radio stations or newspapers. Independent newspapers and television stations face harassment by the authorities, while journalists in government-controlled media frequently practice self-censorship. Anti-defamation laws are used by public figures to challenge journalists, but court proceedings are often dropped. Police frequently harass journalists seeking information. In July, a journalist of independent television station Rustavi-2 was shot dead, his slaying attributed to his work as an investigative reporter. Tens of thousands of mourners attended his funeral. While competitive commercial TV has developed in the capital, there is little independent print or broadcast information outside Tbilisi. When attempted, financial limitations make private journalism difficult to sustain. Most independent radio programming provides only music, not news. The president's press center, which has privileged access to official information, overwhelms five other information agencies.