Latvia | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status


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


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


Article 100 of the constitution bans censorship and guarantees freedom of expression. Local journalists enjoy these rights in practice. During 2002, there were no reported violations of press freedom. Latvian media exist without substantial government regulation; however, broadcasters are required to limit non-Latvian-language programming to 25 percent of their total airtime. In the last decade, strong economic competition has primarily fueled the development of domestic mass media. With the exception of two state-run weeklies, all Latvian newspapers are privately owned. The majority of television and radio broadcasters are also in private hands. The state-run Latvijas Radio maintains the largest national radio audience, while the private TV Latvijas Neatkariga Televizija holds the largest national viewing audience. Internet access is open and unrestricted.