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)


President Hugo Chavez and his government repeatedly attacked the news media through harsh speeches, a court ruling that newspapers must state their political leanings, and threats to pass a "law on content" and revoke the license of a respected television network. A 2000 law empowers the president to suspend broadcasting when he judges it to be in the interest of the nation. Journalists are required to be a member of the National College of Journalists. Criminal defamation laws are enforced against journalists. The constitution, redrafted under Chavez, includes a clause requiring "truthful information" in the press. The National Telecommunications Commission investigated the 24-hour news channel to determine whether it had reported "false news." In June, Chavez threatened to expel foreign journalists who insulted Venezuela or his government.