Dominica | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

Dominica

Dominica

Freedom of the Press 2008

2008 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

22

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

11

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

6

Dominica’s independent media continued to freely express a diversity of opinions and criticisms of the government. However, a lawsuit filed by the prime minister accentuated concerns about the increasing use of libel laws to deter critical journalism. The constitution guarantees freedom of the press, which the government generally respects in practice. The media are often critical of the government, and as a result, relations with the ruling Dominica Labour Party are fractious. In a potentially inhibiting development for press freedom, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit filed libel suits against the Times of Dominica weekly and its editor, Matt Peltier, in September. The lawsuits followed the publication of articles written by Peltier questioning the means by which, given his salary, the prime minister acquired two pieces of land valued at US$370,300. The Media Workers’ Association of Dominica deplored the prime minister’s response, which was to criticize the brand of investigative journalism used to produce the story. The two suits were before the civil courts at year’s end. There is no daily newspaper, but there are several weekly publications. Dominica has four radio stations, including the state-owned Dominica Broadcasting Corporation, and a cable television network that covers part of the island. The internet, used by an estimated 36 percent of the population, is neither restricted nor censored by the government.