Samoa | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2006

2006 Scores

Press Status


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


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


The constitution protects freedom of the press, though Samoan law mandates imprisonment for the refusal to reveal a confidential source. Moves were under way late in the year to establish a self-regulating Samoan media council. A consultant from the U.K.-based Thomson Foundation training agency assisted with the development of a new national media code of conduct.

Samoa has three English-language and several Samoan-language newspapers. It also has five private radio stations, the state-run Samoa Broadcasting Corporation, and some access to local and foreign satellite television. The Samoa Observer, owned by entrepreneurial Samoan poet and editor in chief Savea Sano Malifa, continued to dominate the local private newspaper market and provide a vanguard for the country's media freedom efforts. It extended its influence to New Zealand, where there resides a large Samoan community. A third printing press and an edition named the American Samoa Tribune were also established across the border in American Samoa. The paper has had a long struggle in recent years dealing with issues such as censorship, denial of government advertising, and harassment. There were 6,000 recorded internet users in 2005, and the internet is unrestricted by the government.