Freedom of the Press



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)


The private press is vigorous although journalists continue to face a number of constraints. In recent years, the government has occasionally used its power under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) to restrict the publication of sensitive stories. In June, Kashmiri reporter Iftikhar Ali Gilani was arrested, charged under the OSA, and detained for more than seven months before the military admitted that the case against him was baseless. Intimidation of journalists by a variety of actors increased in 2002 and led to some self-censorship, particularly among the regional media. Three reporters were killed during the year, police attacked journalists covering a peace demonstration in Gujarat in April, and an attack on a Tamil Nadu-based newspaper in July left several journalists injured. The New York Times reported that in the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir, four journalists were shot at and wounded by separatist militants between April and September. Official harassment of the investigative Internet news portal and one of its funders continued during the year. Radio is both public and private, but the state-owned All India Radio enjoys a dominant position and its news coverage favors the government. Television is no longer a government monopoly; according to the government press agency, 90 percent of channels are privately owned. In June, the government ended a 50-year ban on foreign ownership of the print media.