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Freedom of the Press 2008 - Sao Tome and Principe

Publisher Freedom House
Publication Date 29 April 2008
Cite as Freedom House, Freedom of the Press 2008 - Sao Tome and Principe, 29 April 2008, available at: [accessed 24 October 2017]
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: 4 (of 30)
Political Environment: 10 (of 40)
Economic Environment: 14 (of 30)
Total Score: 28 (of 100)
(Lower scores = freer)

The 1990 constitution provides for freedom of the press, and this right is respected in practice and upheld by the state. There were no known cases of government restrictions on local or foreign media during 2007. Publications that regularly criticize the administration are freely circulated without government interference, and opposition parties receive free airtime. Nonetheless, self-censorship is widely practiced, and newspapers often depend on official news releases as primary sources of information, which inhibits the growth of investigative journalism. Some writers accept financial favors from news sources for doing their jobs. Severe problems with infrastructure, including inadequate telecommunications and media distribution networks, constitute a major obstacle for the media. In 2007, there were seven privately owned and two state-run newspapers in addition to a number of state-operated radio and television stations. In 2005, the government authorized two new private radio stations to operate within the country, both of which began broadcasting in late 2006. Access to the internet is not restricted by the government, but is limited by a lack of infrastructure. Nevertheless, approximately 14 percent of the population accessed this new medium during the year, giving this island republic one of the highest per capita penetration levels in sub-Saharan Africa.

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