Guyana | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

Guyana

Guyana

Freedom of the Press 2005

2005 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

23

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

9

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

10

The constitution of Guyana, the only English-speaking country in South America, provides for freedom of speech and of the press, rights that are generally respected in practice. There were no reports of prior restraint of the media in 2004, although police harassment of journalists is an occasional problem. Several independent newspapers operate freely, including the dailies Stabroek News and Kaaietuer News, and even the government-owned daily, the Guyana Chronicle, covers a broad spectrum of political and nongovernmental groups. The government owns and operates the country's sole radio station, which broadcasts on three frequencies. There are no private radio stations, and the government has argued that it cannot issue radio licenses because of a lack of enabling legislation. More than a dozen privately owned television stations freely criticize the government. For example, in 2004 the Guyanese media offered ample coverage of a scandal involving allegations of extrajudicial executions carried out by the police and even accusations of a tie between a "death squad" and the country's home affairs minister. However, opposition party leaders, such as Robert Corbin of the People's National Congress/Reform, complain bitterly that they lack access to the state media. A growing number of journalists also charge the government with failure to respect freedom of the electronic media.