Jamaica | 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)


A high degree of media independence prevails; the current government, led by the People's National Party and Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, is recognized for its positive stance on press freedom. The four largest newspapers are all privately owned. There are 3 television stations and 16 radio stations. Jamaica has an estimated 1.9 million radios--the highest per-capita ratio in the Caribbean. Efforts to reform press and media legislation center on the country's libel laws, which allow for high damage awards in defamation cases. The newspaper firm Gleaner Company Limited is currently appealing a 1996 libel suit decision against it, which awarded $1,000,000 to the former Jamaican minister of tourism, to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.