Freedom of the Press - Samoa (2007)

Publisher Freedom House
Publication Date 2 May 2007
Cite as Freedom House, Freedom of the Press - Samoa (2007), 2 May 2007, available at: [accessed 24 July 2019]
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: 7 (of 30)
Political Environment: 12 (of 40)
Economic Environment: 11 (of 30)
Total Score: 30 (of 100)
(Lower scores = freer)

While the constitution protects press freedom in Samoa, publishers remain vigilant against political attempts to intimidate the media. Samoan law mandates imprisonment for refusal to reveal a confidential source, but the rule has never been enforced in court. The most significant media freedom issue in 2006 involved an alleged attack by a media executive on a local reporter. The Samoa Broadcasting Corporation's (SBC) chief executive, Galumalemana Faiesea Matafeo, was charged with assaulting journalist Atofu Moana from the private Le Samoa newspaper. Police also investigated a case of possible sabotage against the traditionally independent and outspoken newspaper, the Samoa Observer. In May, following complaints made by the Samoa Council of Churches, Samoa's principal censor banned the screening of the film The Da Vinci Code in cinemas and on local television stations. Samoa has three English-language and several Samoan-language newspapers. It also has five private radio stations, the state-run SBC, and some access to local and foreign satellite television. Internet access is unrestricted but is used by only 3.2 percent of the population.

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