Freedom of the Press

Jamaica

Jamaica

Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

20

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

11

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

6

Jamaica enjoys freedom of the press, which is provided for in the constitution. Libel laws carrying prison terms remain on the books, although they are rarely enforced. The four largest newspapers, all privately owned, regularly report on alleged human rights abuses and frequently criticize the establishment. Journalists practice some self-censorship regarding corruption and rampant crime to avoid being threatened with harm, particularly by drug gangs and Colombian narcotics traffickers. There are three television stations and more than a dozen radio stations operating in the country. The Freedom of Information Act, passed in 2002, will allow public disclosure of official ministry documents but has been criticized for exempting cabinet-level documents from possible scrutiny.