Freedom of the press is generally respected in law and in practice. There are six independent and two government-run newspapers. Three foreign radio programs are rebroadcast locally. While no law forbids the establishment and operation of independent media, the sole radio and television stations are government-run, with no privately owned stations. The law grants opposition parties airtime and access to the government-run media; parties freely produce and distribute newsletters that are critical of the government. In March 2003, former Prime Minister Pinto daCosta was convicted and given a one-month suspended sentence and fine for defamation and calumny for accusations made in an open letter to the National Assembly charging that President Fradique de Menezes had mismanaged funds and usurped government authority. Sao Tome's poor economic situation greatly restricts the growth and diversity of its media, as well as the ability of newspapers to publish regularly.