Freedom of the Press

Slovakia

Slovakia

Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

21

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

6

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

6

Article 26 of the constitution bans censorship and provides for freedom of the press. Local media outlets generally enjoy these rights in practice. However, the media remain vulnerable to criminal libel laws and political interference. In 2002, the Constitutional Court suspended some sections of the criminal code relating to defamation of parliament and the state; other sections remain in effect and threaten journalists with harsh penalties for libel. Reporters are often the targets of politically motivated libel suits. During the 2002 parliamentary campaign, state and private television generally respected laws regarding objective political coverage. However, the state Office of Press and Information did cite the private TV Markiza for biased reporting. Private media are generally free from direct government interference, although powerful business interests somewhat limit editorial independence. The public broadcast sector remains financially and politically dependent upon the government.