Freedom of the Press

Bahamas

Bahamas

Freedom of the Press 2007

2007 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

17

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

9

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

6

The constitution guarantees freedom of speech and of the press, and although there is no freedom of information legislation, the government does generally support the public’s right to access to information. However, during 2006 there were indications that some members of the ruling Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) were exerting undue pressure on the media in response to less than flattering news coverage. In early May, PLP chairman Raynard Rigby publicly warned the publishers of the Nassau Guardian and the Bahamas Tribune–two of the four daily newspapers—that they should be careful to be objective when reporting news of political affairs. In June, the foreign minister, Fred Mitchell, publicly criticized the print media, accusing it of lacking “balance and fairness.” The following month, managing editor of the Tribune and British citizen John Marquis was informed that his work permit would not be renewed. Marquis and other media freedom advocates claimed the move was a response to several critical articles. After protests, the authorities issued a one-year permit. In February, prison guards outside the Carmichael Detention Centre in Nassau attacked four journalists from Miami-based television stations. The state-owned Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas operates a television station and the ZNS Radio Bahamas network. There are also numerous privately owned radio stations. The internet was unrestricted and was accessed by 30 percent of the population.