Solomon Islands | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands

Freedom of the Press 2004

2004 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

30

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

14

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

12

Press freedom remains, and the media continue to report on controversial stories, including government misconduct, despite an economically ruined and politically hostile environment that led to an Australian military presence in the capital in July 2003. The country has been struggling to end fighting that broke out in 1998 between two ethnic groups on the islands of Guadalcanal and Malaita. Militants occasionally threaten the media, and intimidation by government officials is common, but no harm to journalists was reported during the year. High illiteracy rates render radio broadcasting more influential than the print press. The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC), a statutory body placed directly under the prime minister's office, operates a public radio service that is the main source of information for most citizens. There is also a private FM radio station and several independent weekly or semiweekly newspapers. No local TV service is present, although satellite television can be received.