Bahamas | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

Bahamas

Bahamas

Freedom of the Press 2004

2004 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

14

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

5

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

5

The Bahamas continue to enjoy a free press, which is guaranteed by the constitution. Numerous privately owned radio stations and newspapers provide a broad array of political views and can openly criticize the government and its policies. The state-owned Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas is the country's only television station. It is generally said to be free of government influence, though it has been criticized as offering preferential coverage to the ruling party. Media laws have been amended to allow for private ownership of broadcasting outlets, and there is unrestricted access to the Internet. Strict libel laws are currently on the books; nevertheless, journalists generally perform their job unhindered. Citizens are watching closely to see what the recently appointed Constitutional Commission will recommend with respect to freedom of speech. It is hoped that the government will embrace the opportunity to replace some of the more restrictive slander and defamation laws with modern libel laws. Local media reports indicate that Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell, a former journalist, is supportive of eliminating these archaic laws.