Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status


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


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


There are two English-language and several Samoan-language newspapers. A 1998 law enables government ministers to use public funds to finance defamation suits, and several have filed lawsuits against the Samoa Observer, an independent newspaper, over stories it had published on public corruption and abuses of power. Authorities also withdrew all advertisements from the paper and threatened to cancel the paper's business license. The government owns two of four radio stations and the only television channel. Internet use is expanding without government interference. The opposition has restricted access to coverage on state-run television and radio.