Freedom of the Press

Lithuania

Lithuania

Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

18

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

5

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

6

Article 25 of the constitution bans censorship and guarantees freedom of expression. Local journalists generally enjoy these rights in practice. Libel remains a criminal offense, although there were no reported cases during the year. In October, the Constitutional Court ruled that judicial authorities may compel journalists to reveal confidential sources. While media outlets are free from direct state interference, the government has recently curtailed access to public information, such as draft legislation, and limited press access to cabinet officials. All newspapers and magazines are privately owned. Private corporations control three of the four national TV networks and all but three radio stations. The public broadcaster, Lithuanian Radio and Television (LRTV), operates on a mixture of direct state funding, licensing fees, and advertising revenue. At present, there is a drive to replace LRTV's advertising revenue with a subscriber's fee. Internet access is open and unrestricted.