Freedom of the Press

Oman

Oman

Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Not Free

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

73

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

25

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

22

There are no laws providing for press freedom in Oman. The 1996 basic charter, which would provide for broader press freedoms, has yet to be implemented. It is illegal to criticize the sultan in any form, but some scrutiny of government officials and agencies is tolerated. The government controls the only local radio and two television stations. There are several independent publications, but the government subsidizes their operating costs which discourages reporting on most major domestic issues. State broadcasts do not air any politically sensitive material, and the government has the right to censor print media and foreign publications. Such action is usually not necessary since self-censorship is widely practiced. Citizens have access to satellite television, including the popular Arabic news channel Al-Jazeera. Internet services are available through the nationally owned tele-communications company, though pornographic and politically sensitive sites are blocked.