Chile | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2004

2004 Scores

Press Status


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


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


The Chilean constitution provides for freedom of speech; media are independent and continue to cover sensitive issues and criticize the government. Journalists generally operate free from physical threats and intimidation, but the continued presence of insult laws still poses a problem for those reporting on government and military figures. Defamation suits are common and in one case led to the censorship of a television program. Nevertheless, media report extensively on the human rights abuses that occurred under the 17-year Pinochet regime and have uncovered large corruption scandals in which the present government and the private sector were implicated. Most print media outlets, although independent of the government, are owned by one of two major media groups. State-owned print and broadcast media are usually able to remain editorially independent. However, in May 2003, editorial staff at La Nacion Domingo, maintaining that the management had bowed to political pressure, resigned in protest at the paper's decision to delay publication of an investigative story on alleged official corruption.