Bhutan | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 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 prohibits criticism of King Wangchuk and Bhutan's political system, and authorities sharply restrict freedom of expression and the press. Bhutan's only regular publication, the private weekly Kuensel, reports news that puts the kingdom in a favorable light. The only exception is occasional coverage of criticism by National Assembly members of government policies during assembly meetings. Similarly, the state-run broadcast media do not carry opposition positions and statements. Cable television service, which carries uncensored foreign programming, thrives in some areas but is hampered by a high sales tax and the absence of a broadcasting law.