St. Lucia | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

St. Lucia

St. Lucia

Freedom of the Press 2005

2005 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

16

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

5

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

5

Traditionally, citizens of Saint Lucia have enjoyed a high degree of press freedom. In late 2003, however, the parliament adopted controversial legislation prescribing possible jail terms for anyone publishing false news that harms the public good. Section 361 of the criminal code states: "Every person who willfully publishes a statement, tale, or news that he or she knows is false, that causes or is likely to cause injury or mischief to a public interest, is guilty of an indictable offense and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years." Critics of the legislation say the measure is too harsh and endangers media freedom. Furthermore, the government has taken a somewhat more oppositional stance toward the press, reflected in a government lawyer's criticism in May of the media as an institution. The print press, which is privately owned, carries a wide spectrum of views that are often critical of the government. Broadcast media are both state owned and private, as the government operates a radio network.