Chad | 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)


Despite a constitutional provision for freedom of expression, the government restricts press freedom in practice. Libel is considered a criminal offense, and those convicted have received both prison sentences and fines. The media are subject to close official scrutiny and occasional censorship. A private radio station, FM Liberte, was suspended for three weeks in February after authorities accused it of broadcasting information "likely to disrupt public order." In April, authorities banned private radio stations from airing any political material prior to the parliamentary elections. The Union of Chadian Journalists issued a statement in November alleging that authorities at times refused reporters access to needed information sources and that correspondents were subjected to humiliating and debasing treatment while carrying out their job. A number of private newspapers circulate in the capital and are critical of government policies and leaders. However, radio remains the most important source of information, and state control over the majority of the broadcast media limits diverse or dissenting viewpoints. The only television station, Teletchad, is state-owned, and its coverage favors the government. Prohibitively high licensing fees for commercial radio stations limit new entrants into the market.