Sierra Leone | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone

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)


The government restricts freedom of the press though its protection is guaranteed in the constitution. Journalists are intimidated by various armed militias as well as by security forces. Two journalists were assaulted, one detained, and seven received death threats. Killing of journalists, common in years past, was not recorded in 2001. Corruption remains a problem. Many journalists, suffering under disastrous economic conditions as is the rest of the country, accept bribes. The level of professionalism in the media is also low, leading to misinformation and sensationalism, which, in turn, generate crackdowns on the press. Journalists frequently criticize the government. Several government and private radio and television stations operate.