Vanuatu | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

Vanuatu

Vanuatu

Freedom of the Press 2006

2006 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

25

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

10

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

10

Freedom of expression is protected under Article 5.1.g of the constitution, and this right is generally respected in practice. The media are relatively lively and provide diverse opinions; however, it is the country's weak infrastructure that continues to prevent full access to information. Prime Minister Ham Lini criticized the government-controlled Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation in February for failing to provide radio services to 80 percent of the rural population as a result of an inoperative shortwave transmitter. While officials do not actively interfere with media critical of the government, journalists have been intimidated and threatened in the past by politicians and their supporters. The country was still in the process of adopting a media ethics and accountability system at year's end. The government owns the country's two radio stations and a limited-service television station. Print media are more diverse. Vanuatu's first indigenously owned newspaper, ni-Vanuatu, was launched in 2004, joining the private Vanuatu Daily Post and the Independent. There were 7,500 registered internet users (3.4 percent of the population) in Vanuatu in 2005, and no reported restrictions on access by the government.