Status: Free
Legal Environment: 3
Political Influences: 4
Economic Pressures: 7
Total Score: 14

Population: n/a
GNI/capita: n/a
Life Expectancy: 80
Religious Groups: Anglican (26 percent), Roman Catholic (26 percent), other Christian (24.3 percent), non-Christian (11 percent), other (12.7 percent)
Ethnic Groups: White (92 percent), Asian (7 percent), other, including aboriginal (1 percent)
Capital: Canberra

The government respects freedom of the press and speech, even though the constitution does not specifically provide for these rights. Citizens and media frequently criticize the government without reprisal. A vibrant independent media exists; privately owned TV and radio provide most information. However, Australia's media ownership is considered to be highly concentrated, and current concern rests on re-introduced amendments to cross-ownership laws that would further relax limitations on ownership. Currently, the Murdoch-owned News Corporation controls about 70 percent of urban newspapers while the Fairfax group controls the remaining 30 percent.

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