Freedom of the Press

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

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)


A new Human Rights Act provides a statutory right to freedom of expression (though limited by the European Convention which excludes information regarding public safety, health, morals, and the reputation of others). A new Freedom of Information Act grants access to significant areas of information previously closed to the press (while excluding information related to national defense, international issues, commercial interests, and law enforcement). The press, though uncensored and mostly private, is subject to strict libel and obscenity laws. The BBC operates half the electronic media, which are funded by the state but are editorially independent. Authorities have the right to monitor Internet messages without judicial permission in the name of national security and "well being." A prominent investigative journalist was killed in Northern Ireland.