Bosnia and Herzegovina | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Partly Free

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


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


Political influence in the media remains one of the largest impediments to the development of a truly free press in Bosnia. The constitution and the human rights annex to the Dayton peace accords provide the legal framework for a free press in the country. Parliamentary approval of a new defamation law in 2002 limited the threat of politically motivated defamation suits. However, government intervention and direct political patronage continue to restrict editorial independence. Journalists often experience death threats and physical attacks, especially when investigating war crimes. The 2002 Law on Public Broadcasting attempted to increase the independence of public broadcasters. Yet, critics have charged that the weaknesses in the law could allow for political influence in appointments to the broadcast oversight board.