Last Updated: Thursday, 21 August 2014, 11:05 GMT

Freedom of the Press - Iceland (2005)

Publisher Freedom House
Publication Date 27 April 2005
Cite as Freedom House, Freedom of the Press - Iceland (2005), 27 April 2005, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4734516816.html [accessed 22 August 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: 1
Political Influences: 4
Economic Pressures: 4
Total Score: 9

Population: n/a
GNI/capita: n/a
Life Expectancy: 81
Religious Groups: Evangelical Lutheran (87.1 percent), other Protestant (4.1 percent), Roman Catholic (1.7 percent), other (7.1 percent)
Ethnic Groups: homogeneous mixture of descendants of Norse and Celts (94 percent), population of foreign origin (6 percent)
Capital: Reykjavik

Iceland's constitution provides for freedom of speech and the press, and the government does not interfere in the independent media's expression of a wide variety of views. Freedom of information legislation has been in place since 1996. An autonomous board of directors oversees the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, which operates a number of transmitting and relay stations. Internet access is open and unrestricted. Private and public media report on diverse topics. Some publications are affiliated with political parties. Media ownership is concentrated, with the Northern Lights Corporation controlling television networks, most radio stations, and two out of three of the country's national newspapers. A proposed law placing limits on media ownership was vetoed in May by President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, whose position has historically been that of an apolitical figurehead. This was the first time an Icelandic president had vetoed a proposed law in the republic's 60-year history, and it provoked one of the country's most severe political crises.

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