Freedom of the Press - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (2006)

Status: Free
Legal Environment: 3
Political Influences: 6
Economic Pressures: 7
Total Score: 16

Population: n/a
GNI/capita: n/a
Life Expectancy: 72
Religious Groups: Anglican (47 percent), Methodist (28 percent), Roman Catholic (13 percent), other [including Hindu, Seventh-Day Adventist, other Protestant] (12 percent)
Ethnic Groups: Black (66 percent), other [including mulatto, East Indian, and Carib Amerindian ] (34 percent)
Capital: Kingstown

The constitution guarantees a free press, and publications openly criticize government policies. The main newspaper, the daily Herald, and the weeklies, Searchlight and The Vincentian, are all privately owned. The state-run St. Vincent and the Grenadines Broadcasting Corporation operates SVG Television and the Hitz FM music radio station. NBC is a partly government-funded national FM radio service, and there are numerous other private radio stations. Concerns have been expressed about a possible conflict between the government and Elwardo Lynch, host of a talk show sponsored by the opposition New Democratic Party. In May, a court found Lynch guilty on two counts of making false statements likely to cause alarm. A survey confirmed it is the most widely listened-to radio program in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. There are no government restrictions on the internet, but it is not a significant source of information since little more than 6 percent of the population was able to gain access in 2005.

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