Australia | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

Australia

Australia

Freedom of the Press 2004

2004 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

14

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

4

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

7

The government respects freedom of the press and speech, even though the constitution does not specifically provide for these rights. Citizens and media frequently criticize the government without reprisal. A vibrant independent media exists; privately owned TV and radio provide most information. However, Australia's media ownership is considered to be highly concentrated, and current concern rests on re-introduced amendments to cross-ownership laws that would further relax limitations on ownership. Currently, the Murdoch-owned News Corporation controls about 70 percent of urban newspapers while the Fairfax group controls the remaining 30 percent.