Freedom of the Press 2008 - Grenada
|Publication Date||29 April 2008|
|Cite as||Freedom House, Freedom of the Press 2008 - Grenada, 29 April 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4871f60643.html [accessed 1 May 2016]|
Legal Environment: 8 (of 30)
Political Environment: 11 (of 40)
Economic Environment: 5 (of 30)
Total Score: 24 (of 100)
(Lower scores = freer)
Although freedom of the press is guaranteed by law, the government is accused of using both the threat of libel laws and its right to grant broadcast licenses to apply pressure on the media. In January, Prime Minister Keith Mitchell threatened to take legal action against sections of the local media, which he claimed had libeled him. At the end of February a suit was filed against the operators of 90.1FM over calls for the re-opening of an inquiry into allegations of corruption against Mitchell – the so-called 'briefcase scandal.' At the end of August, the president of the Media Workers' Association of Grenada (MWAG), Michael Bascombe, denounced "undue pressures" on journalists and media companies in the context of reporting about court documents in the United States dealing with the failed First International Bank of Grenada and alleged bribes made to Mitchell and other Grenadian officials.
There was better news concerning the forthcoming Broadcasting Authority Act. In September, MWAG representatives and government officials met and agreed to scrap a clause suggesting media workers be imprisoned as a form of punishment for violating the rules of the Act. There was also agreement on a method of appointing members of a proposed Broadcasting Commission to regulate the industry, on amendments to protect the media from political interference, and the need for an Access to Information Act. Grenada has 5 television stations, 11 radio stations, 4 newspapers, and 5 periodicals. The government does not place restrictions on the internet, which was accessed by around 20 percent of the population in 2007.