St. Lucia | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

St. Lucia

St. Lucia

Freedom of the Press 2008

2008 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

16

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

9

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

4

Press freedom deteriorated in 2007 as a result of increased political pressure on the media. The constitution provides for freedom of speech and of the press, and the government generally respects these rights in practice. In November 2006, the parliament repealed Section 361 of the criminal code, which had prescribed imprisonment for those convicted of publishing news that endangered the “public good.” Following the change of government after the December 2006 victory of the United Workers Party over the St. Lucia Labour Party (SLLP), there were indications of greater interference in the state-owned radio station. Controversy ensued in January when the state-owned Radio St. Lucia (RSL) withdrew an SLLP advertisement calling on party supporters to “take back our country!” In October, Roger Joseph resigned as general manager of RSL. He denied his decision was politically motivated, but the St. Lucia Star reported that Joseph resigned because of the immense pressure he was under from the new government. The source said the government had instructed Joseph to send them every release the opposition submitted to the station to allow them to decide whether the station would air the information or not. St. Lucia has three television stations and seven radio stations—all of which are private apart from RSL. There are three weekly newspapers and two that are published three times a week. There are no government restrictions on the internet, which was accessible to over 32 percent of the population in 2007.