Freedom of the Press

Czech Republic

Czech Republic

Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

23

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

5

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

9

The government respects freedom of expression and of the press. The charter of rights prohibits speech against individual rights, public security, public health, and morality. However, libel remains a criminal offense and journalists face prison terms if convicted. The controversial lawsuit against the weekly newspaper Respekt drew to a close in April, when judicial authorities ordered the publication to apologize for publishing vague allegations of corruption against a government official. Later in the year, law enforcement officials were quick to foil an alleged plot to assassinate an investigative journalist. In 2001, parliament passed a bill designed to limit political influence over state-controlled Czech Television. Under the law, nongovernmental groups, rather than politicians, will nominate members to the organization's governing council. A 2002 law applies a similar system to Czech Radio. Currently, there are three national television stations (one public and two private) and approximately 60 private radio stations.