Freedom of the Press

Kiribati

Kiribati

Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

26

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

4

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

16

Freedom of the press is generally respected, although the government does limit this right in some instances. An amendment to the Newspaper Registration Act passed in October 2002 allows authorities to shut down newspapers if there are complaints made against them. Ieremia Tabai, a former president and current member of parliament, owns the sole independent newspaper, the Kiribati New Star. The state-owned Radio Kiribati offers foreign news broadcasts along with local programming. The opposition claimed that it had little access to Radio Kiribati and the government's Te Uekera weekly paper during the 2002 election campaign. In a positive development, Tabai said in December that he would begin operating a radio station in early 2003 after winning a four-year battle with the government to receive an FM license. The September 2000 ban on a foreign journalist remains in place.