Last Updated: Thursday, 17 April 2014, 13:11 GMT

Freedom of the Press 2008 - Suriname

Publisher Freedom House
Publication Date 29 April 2008
Cite as Freedom House, Freedom of the Press 2008 - Suriname, 29 April 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4871f634c.html [accessed 18 April 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Status: Free
Legal Environment: 5 (of 30)
Political Environment: 12 (of 40)
Economic Environment: 6 (of 30)
Total Score: 23 (of 100)
(Lower scores = freer)

The coalition government generally respects freedom of expression and of the press, as provided for in the country's constitution. However, little investigative journalism takes place, and some journalists practice self-censorship on certain issues. According to the Association of Surinamese Journalists (SVJ), poor salaries and lack of training leading to unprofessional conduct are undermining the profession. In the only overt act of censorship during the year, on May 10 the state-owned Suriname Television Foundation (STVS) was forced to cancel its "Suriname Today" discussion program after the country's Vice-President, Ram Sardjoe, requested that the producers not air planned segments addressing Taiwan's efforts to get Suriname to switch its diplomatic allegiance from China. Chinese diplomats in the capital, Paramaribo, also had also pressed for the program to be dropped, and apparently visited the station to speak to the management. Sardjoe said his request was in the national interests of the country, but the SVJ denounced a "flagrant violation of the right of free expression of the citizens and the right of the press to express opinions." There are two privately-owned, Dutch-language daily newspapers, De Ware Tijd and De West, and seven radio stations, including the government-owned Stichting Radio Omroep Suriname (SRS). There are a number of community radio stations. Both television stations – Algemene Televisie Verzorging and Surinaamse Televisie Stichting – are state owned. There are no government restrictions on the internet though only 6 percent of the population was able to access it in 2007.

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