Freedom of the Press

Honduras

Honduras

Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Partly Free

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

51

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

19

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

16

Although the constitution provides for freedom of the press, there are several laws that constrain this right. Laws that prohibit defamation and require journalists to reveal their sources in special circumstances are on the books. In addition, journalists are required to be licensed under the 1972 Organic Law of the College of Journalists. In 2001 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights reported that the government had impeded public scrutiny of its actions. The line between politics and the media is obscured, as a number of the major media outlets are owned and operated by powerful politicians who frequently set editorial policy and decide on coverage. Some journalists have admitted to self-censorship in order to avoid offending media owners' political and economic interests. There were several reports of harassment of journalists reporting on official corruption. Nongovernmental ownership of media outlets is extremely concentrated in the hands of a small, powerful business elite. Independent media have complained of discrimination in the placement of official government advertising.