São Tomé and Príncipe | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

São Tomé and Príncipe

São Tomé and Príncipe

Freedom of the Press 2007

2007 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

29

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

11

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

14

The constitution provides for freedom of the press, and this right is respected in practice and upheld by the state. There were no known cases of government restrictions on local or foreign media during the year, and publications that regularly criticize the administration are freely circulated without government interference. Nonetheless, self-censorship is widely practiced, and newspapers often depend on official news releases as primary sources of information, which inhibits the growth of investigative journalism. Some writers accept financial favors from news sources for doing their jobs. Severe problems with infrastructure, including inadequate telecommunications and media distribution networks, constitute a major obstacle for the media. There are seven privately owned and two state-run newspapers in addition to a number of state-operated radio and television stations. In 2005, the government authorized two new private radio stations to operate within the country, both of which began broadcasting by the end of 2006. Access to the internet is not restricted by the government but is limited by a lack of infrastructure; nonetheless, over 11 percent of the population accessed this new medium during the year.