Kiribati | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

Kiribati

Kiribati

Freedom of the Press 2005

2005 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

26

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

8

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

14

In September, the legislative assembly repealed the 2002 amendments to the Newspaper Registration Act that gave authorities the right to deregister publications that printed information deemed offensive, disorderly, or libelous. While these provisions had never been exercised, they conflicted with the nation's strong constitutional protections for freedom of speech and of the press. All newspapers are still required to register with the government. The Broadcasting and Publication Authority Act allows the government to censor individual stories, and some journalists have reported that they self-censor to avoid retaliation. The Kiribati Islands Media Association, established in 2004, announced they would work toward a new constitution and code of ethics. Kiribati has three weekly newspapers, one state owned, one privately owned, and one run by the Protestant Church. The state-owned weekly Te Uekera carries a four-page government-written insert each week providing pro-government news and opinions. The government also runs radio and television stations in Tarawa. Owing to a very weak economy, there is little private media. The Protestant and Catholic Churches publish newsletters and periodicals, which are important sources of information.