Freedom of the Press - Saint Kitts and Nevis (2005)

Status: Free
Legal Environment: 6
Political Influences: 8
Economic Pressures: 9
Total Score: 23

Population: n/a
GNI/capita: n/a
Life Expectancy: 70
Religious Groups: Anglican, other Protestant, Roman Catholic
Ethnic Groups: Black (majority), British, Portuguese, and Lebanese
Capital: Basseterre

Freedom of the press is enshrined in the constitution. Toward the end of 2004, media issues briefly took center stage as the opposition party's newspaper settled a double libel suit in November amounting to just over EC$95,000 (US$35,000). The settlement arose out of a suit brought against the paper by two ruling party ministers in 1999. In December, Clive Bacchus, a Guyanese national and manager of the independent WINN FM radio station, had his work permit renewal delayed in a move that was criticized as an attempt to suppress the independent media. The ruling Saint Kitts and Nevis Labour Party publishes a twice weekly newspaper, while the opposition People's Action Movement publishes its own weekly paper. Additionally, there are several independent weeklies. The electronic media consist of government-owned and -operated television and radio stations as well as several private radio stations. The opposition accuses the government of limiting access to the country's lone television station, which is state controlled, but acknowledges it has access to private media.

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