Freedom of the Press

Namibia

Namibia

Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Partly Free

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

37

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

15

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

14

The constitution guarantees the right to free speech and a free press, but these rights are not always respected. In recent years, defamation lawsuits and other forms of legal action have been filed against several newspapers. Independent newspapers and radio stations continue to criticize the government openly. However, journalists at state-run media outlets have reportedly been subjected to indirect and direct pressure to avoid reporting on controversial topics, and they consequently practice self-censorship. Last year's official advertising and purchasing bans on The Namibian, a leading daily newspaper, remained in place. In August, President Sam Nujoma appointed himself minister of information and broadcasting, prompting fears that he intended to assert further official control over the state-owned Namibian Broadcasting Corporation, which operates most television and radio services.