Freedom of the Press

Samoa

Samoa

Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

24

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

4

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

16

Samoa's press is generally free, though it is subject to some official harassment. A 1998 law enables government ministers to use public funds to finance defamation suits, and several have filed lawsuits against the Samoa Observer, an independent newspaper, over stories on alleged official corruption and abuses of power. Authorities also withdrew all government advertisements from the paper and threatened to cancel its business license. Two English-language newspapers and several Samoan-language papers appear regularly. The government runs the sole domestic television station, although satellite television is easily available. Radio is both public and private. In December, the opposition accused the state media of failing to cover its views.