Samoa | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2007

2007 Scores

Press Status


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


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


While the constitution protects press freedom in Samoa, publishers remain vigilant against political attempts to intimidate the media. Samoan law mandates imprisonment for refusal to reveal a confidential source, but the rule has never been enforced in court. The most significant media freedom issue in 2006 involved an alleged attack by a media executive on a local reporter. The Samoa Broadcasting Corporation’s (SBC) chief executive, Galumalemana Faiesea Matafeo, was charged with assaulting journalist Atofu Moana from the private Le Samoa newspaper. Police also investigated a case of possible sabotage against the traditionally independent and outspoken newspaper, the Samoa Observer. In May, following complaints made by the Samoa Council of Churches, Samoa’s principal censor banned the screening of the film The Da Vinci Code in cinemas and on local television stations. Samoa has three English-language and several Samoan-language newspapers. It also has five private radio stations, the state-run SBC, and some access to local and foreign satellite television. Internet access is unrestricted but is used by only 3.2 percent of the population.