Nicaragua | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Partly Free

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


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


Privately owned print and broadcast media present diverse viewpoints and openly scrutinize the government. The constitution provides for press freedom, but several provisions serve as constraints on this right. While citizens have the right to "accurate" information, the government has the right to deem what is accurate. There is also the potential for criminal sanctions against journalists who commit libel, and laws require journalists to reveal their sources under special circumstances, though these laws are rarely enforced. President Enrique Bolanos has proven to be less confrontational with the press than his predecessor, Arnoldo Aleman. The new government is said to be treating newspapers more fairly--distributing advertising dollars according to circulation rather than following the previous practice of showing bias towards pro-government papers. However, despite its more favorable relationship with the press, the new government did shut down an opposition radio station that featured a program by the former president making attacks on the new administration.