Bahamas | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

Bahamas

Bahamas

Freedom of the Press 2005

2005 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

14

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

6

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

6

The constitution guarantees freedom of the press and speech. Harsh libel laws still exist, but they are not normally used to hinder the work of journalists. The International Press Institute reported that a ZNS radio reporter was suspended because of a controversial report and her employer's fear of legal action being taken against the station. In July, journalists attended a seminar hosted by the attorney general encouraging participants to petition the Constitutional Review Commission, which is reviewing the constitution with the intention of amending it. Traditionally, the Bahamian media provide a variety of political opinions and are generally free to criticize the government without interference. In June, the police force organized a seminar-the first of its kind-to improve relations with the media. Four dailies and one biweekly newspaper are all privately owned and widely read. The government supports the right to access public and independent information and does not restrict access to the foreign press or the Internet. Most radio stations are privately owned, except for ZNS1, run by the state-owned Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas (BCB). BCB also owns one of two television stations in the country; the other is privately owned. The state-controlled media for the most part operate free of government influence. However, opposition parties routinely complain that their viewpoints receive less coverage than those of the ruling party.