Freedom of the Press

Mozambique

Mozambique

Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Partly Free

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

47

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

18

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

15

The 1990 constitution provides for press freedom, but limits this right in relation to respect for the constitution, human dignity, the imperatives of foreign policy, and national defense. Some journalists have alleged that the Higher Council of Social Communication, an enforcement body for the press law dominated by the ruling party, has attempted to promote self-censorship among members of the press. Criminal libel laws are sometimes used to prosecute media outlets for defamation, which serves as another important deterrent to open expression. The private media have enjoyed moderate growth, but publications in Maputo have little influence on the largely illiterate rural population. The state owns or influences all of the largest newspapers and also controls nearly all broadcast media. Although state-owned media have displayed greater editorial independence in recent years, the opposition receives inadequate coverage on national radio and television. Reporters continue to be subjected to some threats and intimidation at the hands of officials. In November, the trial of six men accused of the November 2000 murder of investigative journalist Carlos Cardoso opened under tight security and domestic and international scrutiny.