Last Updated: Friday, 11 July 2014, 13:14 GMT

Freedom of the Press - Vanuatu (2006)

Publisher Freedom House
Publication Date 27 April 2006
Cite as Freedom House, Freedom of the Press - Vanuatu (2006), 27 April 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/473451f91f.html [accessed 12 July 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
Political Influences: 10
Economic Pressures: 10
Total Score: 25

Population: n/a
GNI/capita: n/a
Life Expectancy: 67
Religious Groups: Presbyterian (31.4 percent), Anglican (13.4 percent), Roman Catholic (13.1 percent), Seventh-Day Adventist (10.8 percent), other Christian (13.8 percent), indigenous beliefs (5.6 percent), other (11.9 percent)
Ethnic Groups: Ni-Vanuatu (98.5 percent), other (1.5 percent)
Capital: Port Vila

Freedom of expression is protected under Article 5.1.g of the constitution, and this right is generally respected in practice. The media are relatively lively and provide diverse opinions; however, it is the country's weak infrastructure that continues to prevent full access to information. Prime Minister Ham Lini criticized the government-controlled Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation in February for failing to provide radio services to 80 percent of the rural population as a result of an inoperative shortwave transmitter. While officials do not actively interfere with media critical of the government, journalists have been intimidated and threatened in the past by politicians and their supporters. The country was still in the process of adopting a media ethics and accountability system at year's end. The government owns the country's two radio stations and a limited-service television station. Print media are more diverse. Vanuatu's first indigenously owned newspaper, ni-Vanuatu, was launched in 2004, joining the private Vanuatu Daily Post and the Independent. There were 7,500 registered internet users (3.4 percent of the population) in Vanuatu in 2005, and no reported restrictions on access by the government.

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