Malta | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

Malta

Malta

Freedom of the Press 2006

2006 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

18

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

7

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

9

The constitution guarantees freedom of speech and of the press but also restricts those rights under a variety of circumstances. Malta bases its laws on the European model but is one of only three European Union members not to have freedom of information legislation. There are at least five daily and two weekly newspapers operating in both Maltese and English. Political parties, private investors, and the Catholic Church all have direct investments in broadcasting and print media that openly express partisan views. In 2004, the broadcasting authority fined an independent television station for broadcasting an interview with an independent candidate for the European Parliament on the grounds that his statements could have incited racial hatred. The station sought judicial review of the authority's decision, and the case was still ongoing at the end of 2005. In September, the Institute of Maltese Journalists alleged that photographers and camera operators were censored when they were stripped of their equipment during a riot at the Maltese National Stadium of Ta' Qali. Local and international television and radio stations are widely viewed. The internet is unrestricted and is used by more than 75 percent of the population.