Freedom of the Press

Namibia

Namibia

Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status

Partly Free

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

0

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

19

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

12
Constitutional guarantees of press freedom are occasionally infringed by officials who threaten journalistic freedom and take bureaucratic measures to harass journalists. The major daily newspaper, The Namibian, often in opposition to the government, is repeatedly denounced by government officials. The president banned all government advertising in that newspaper, ordered all government offices to drop their subscriptions to The Namibian, and prohibited its distribution in government offices. A defense bill introduced in parliament would limit media coverage of security and defense issues. Critics declared that the bill fails to impose "the least restrictive means" to protect national security while adhering to the constitutional protections of freedom of expression and media freedom. Reporters for state-run media have been subjected to indirect and direct pressure to avoid reporting on controversial topics. The state-run Namibia Broadcasting Corporation, however, has regularly presented views critical of the government. There are five private radio stations and one private television station.