Freedom of the Press

Taiwan

Taiwan

Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

24

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

8

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

7

The constitution provides for freedom of the press. Laws barring Taiwanese from advocating communism or independence from China remain on the books. However, these laws, along with penalties for libel, defamation, and insult, are not generally used to restrict journalists' coverage. A wide range of privately owned newspapers report aggressively on corruption and other sensitive issues and carry outspoken editorials. However, in March, authorities raided the offices of Taiwan Next and confiscated 160,000 copies of its latest issue, accusing the weekly magazine of endangering national security. Broadcast television stations are subject to some political influence by their shareholders, who include local governments, political parties, and the armed forces. Though it has refused to license private islandwide radio stations, the government has in recent years issued more than two dozen licenses for private regional stations.