Qatar | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status

Not Free

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


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


Though press censorship formally ended in 1995, self-censorship remains pervasive. Direct government pressure on the media has been steadily reduced but state-run radio, television, and newspapers generally avoid reporting on the royal family and Islam. The editor in chief of the major daily Al-Watan was assaulted after criticizing an official. After September 11, worldwide attention was focused on the satellite television all-news channel Al-Jazeera after it carried lengthy interviews with terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. Al-Jazeera, created and funded by a member of the Qatari royal family, had previously confounded other Arab governments after gaining widespread regional viewers by telecasting critical news and opinion of Middle East politics and personalities. Al-Jazeera generally avoids critical reports of Qatar. The government has opened government information to the public over the Internet, which has some 45,000 users.