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)


All media are state-owned and subject to President Niyazov's diktat. A cabinet-controlled committee exercises censorship over all print and electronic media. The presidential press service issues guidelines for political content. Party officials hold key positions in the main publications and broadcast outlets. Reports of dissenting political views are banned, as are even mild forms of criticism of the president. Radio Liberty's (RL) short wave broadcasts provide the only alternative to state information in the Turkmen language. RL's journalists are frequently beaten and harassed. Foreign journalists have few opportunities to visit Turkmenistan and are often limited to certain locations. Use of the Internet is low (4.56 users per 10,000 inhabitants, according to the International Telecommunications Union).