Freedom of the Press - Solomon Islands (2003)

Status: Free
Legal Environment: 3
Political Influences: 11
Economic Pressures: 11
Total Score: 25

Population: n/a
GNI/capita: n/a
Life Expectancy: 67
Religious Groups: Anglican (45 percent), Roman Catholic (18 percent), indigenous beliefs and other (27 percent)
Ethnic Groups: Melanesian (93 percent), Polynesian (4 percent), Micronesian (1.5 percent), other (1.5 percent)
Capital: Honiara

Press freedom is provided for in the constitution and is generally respected. The most important source of information is the state-run Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC), which offers balanced coverage but occasionally comes under pressure from the government for airing opposition viewpoints. Three private newspapers vigorously scrutinize official policies. During the year, journalists faced some harassment. Armed supporters of a government minister forced the independent Solomon Star to pay him "compensation" for publishing an unflattering story in February, and in May SIBC staff were threatened by a group of militants, who also damaged equipment at the radio station.

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