Freedom of the Press - Palau (2007)
|Publication Date||2 May 2007|
|Cite as||Freedom House, Freedom of the Press - Palau (2007), 2 May 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/478cd53cc.html [accessed 13 July 2014]|
Legal Environment: 1 (of 30)
Political Environment: 6 (of 40)
Economic Environment: 7 (of 30)
Total Score: 14 (of 100)
(Lower scores = freer)
The Pacific island republic of Palau has a small but vibrant media environment, and Article 4, Section 2, of the constitution protects freedom of expression and of the press. Censorship is rare, and the press is free to report on a diversity of issues, including official corruption. In November, the Consolidated Boards Act of 2006 was passed, combining four government entities – including the Palau National Communications Corporation, which controls internet and satellite television transmissions – into one commission. The officials of the new commission will be publicly elected rather than appointed by the government, as was previously the case. There were no attacks on the press in 2006.
Palau has a relatively diverse media considering its small population. There are two weeklies and one regular biweekly. President Tommy Esang Remengesau Jr. meets every Wednesday with the press on the government radio station Eco-Paradise. There are also two private and two church radio stations. Diaz Radio, owned by outspoken journalist and senator Alfonso Diaz, started airing a weekly program in April for Filipinos in Palau. In April, members of the political group Voices of Palau demanded equal airtime on Diaz Radio to rebut statements Senator Diaz made on the air attacking their character. Senator Diaz and members of Voices of Palau filed harassment suits against each other after encounters heated up concerning the disputed airtime. The internet is unregulated by the government but is not a significant news source, as it is accessed by only 1 percent of the population.