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)


Despite numerous restraints, the English-language newspapers were vigorous and the vernacular press widely diversified. Using the Official Secrets Act, the government occasionally censored security-related articles. Journalists opposed a cabinet bill on communication introduced in July that would empower an autonomous commission to "intercept and monitor" press messages, data, or information intended for publication. The state-owned All India Radio has a dominant hold on broadcasting, but India's first private FM radio station was launched in July. The government maintains a monopoly on domestic television, though foreign satellite broadcasts are available. Authorities occasionally beat, detain, and harass journalists in the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir. In May, members of the Border Security Force assaulted seventeen journalists, and an editor and three employees of the weekly Chattan were beaten in their office by members of the security forces in August. Detentions of local journalists in the northeastern states are also common. Police arrested an editor in Sikkim for "disturbing harmonious relations," and detained two foreign journalists in Assam. Tax officials ransacked the Bombay office of Outlook, an independent news magazine. Following the March expose of official corruption by the Internet news portal, a successful securities house which had invested in the website was accused by several government departments of a number of tax and regulatory infractions and effectively prevented from doing business despite a lack of evidence of any wrongdoing. The government also threatened to severely punish those found guilty of breaking the law while conducting undercover operations as a function of investigative journalism.