Tonga | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status

Partly Free

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


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


Charging criminal defamation is the government's method of restricting press freedom. The deputy editor of a Tongan independent weekly newspaper was charged in February. Criticism of the king, his family, and the government may subject the journalist to court action. There are several privately owned newspapers and an outspoken Catholic paper. The state owns the two television stations and Radio Tonga, whose reports favor the government.