Freedom of the Press 2008 - Palau
|Publication Date||29 April 2008|
|Cite as||Freedom House, Freedom of the Press 2008 - Palau, 29 April 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4871f6243a.html [accessed 21 October 2014]|
Legal Environment: 1 (of 30)
Political Environment: 5 (of 40)
Economic Environment: 8 (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. In 2007, Palau joined the newly-formed Micronesian Media Association to protect free and independent journalism and public access to information. There were no attacks on the press in 2007.
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, airs a weekly program for Filipinos in Palau. 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.