Freedom of the Press

El Salvador

El Salvador

Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Partly Free

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

38

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

18

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

11

The media are privately owned and pluralistic, and media outlets freely scrutinize the government and report on opposition activities. However, there are several laws that constrain press freedom. Article 24 of the Law of National Defense requires journalists to reveal their sources if the "national interest" is at stake. Article 46 of the Enabling Law of the State Audit Court allows the court to keep secret its audits of government officials handling taxpayers' money, which could impede journalists' ability to investigate corruption and to hold officials accountable. On May 1, opposition leader Shafik Handal called journalists liars and said the media should not be trusted. The statements incited his supporters to insult and physically attack journalists who were present at the time. Some media outlets have complained that official advertising often favors the pro-government media, which in some circumstances encourages journalists to practice self-censorship.