Cape Verde | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

Cape Verde

Cape Verde

Freedom of the Press 2008

2008 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

28

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

10

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

12

The constitution directly provides for freedom of the press as well as confidentiality of sources, access to information, and freedom from arbitrary arrest. In recent years, the government has consistently demonstrated its ability to respect and protect these rights in practice, making Cape Verde among the freest media environments in Africa. A 1999 constitutional amendment still excludes the use of freedom of expression as a defense in defamation cases; however, there have been no such libel cases since 2002. There were also no reported cases of intimidation or violence against journalists in 2007.

Many media outlets are state operated, although there are a growing number of private publications and broadcast outlets. The law requires broadcasters to obtain operating licenses, and government approval is needed to establish new newspapers and other publications. However, there were no reports that the government denied or revoked licenses for political reasons in 2007, and two new private newspapers were launched in September. Six independent radio stations broadcast regularly in Cape Verde, and there are two foreign-owned television stations in addition to the state-owned radio and television stations. The government does not generally restrict access to the media that it controls, although opposition candidates reported difficulty in accessing airtime on the state broadcasters before the February 2006 presidential election. Self-censorship is widespread among journalists, however, and has been one of the largest obstacles to the creation of a truly free press. Geographic barriers and harsh terrain in a country made up of several islands also constitute impediments to the distribution of newspapers and other media products, including the internet, which was accessed by just over 8 percent of the population in 2007. However, there were no reports that the government restricted internet access or monitored e-mail messages, and foreign broadcasts are uncensored.