Freedom of the Press

Iraq

Iraq

Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status

Not Free

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

96

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

40

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

26

The government controls most news and information available to Iraqis. Some criticism of low-level officials and investigation into official corruption are occasionally tolerated provided President Saddam Hussein or major policy issues are not involved. Uday Hussein, son of the president, is the country's media magnate. He owns 11 of 35 newspapers, including the Babel daily, and is director of television and radio stations. He also heads the Iraqi Journalists' Union. Limited access to satellite broadcasting is permitted, as is access to the Internet. Kurds in northern Iraq, within the no-fly zone, go online easily, and Kurdish journalists have greater freedom than others in Iraq. According to Iraq Press, about 50 journalists fled the country this year. The opposition Radio Free Iraq (RFI), whose studios are in Prague, has been "cased" by Iraqis as a possible bomb target. The Czech government is uneasy about permitting RFI to continue broadcasting to Iraq from Prague.