Status: Free
Legal Environment: 2 (of 30)
Political Environment: 6 (of 40)
Economic Environment: 9 (of 30)
Total Score: 17 (of 100)
(Lower scores = freer)

Freedom of speech and of the press are safeguarded in Article 2 of the Marshallese constitution, and the government generally respects these rights. There is no freedom of information legislation and no immediate plans to draft such legislation in spite of recommendations made by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in August 2006. During the year, the government launched an investigation into "dissenting comments" made by members of the local Chamber of Commerce concerning a trip to the People's Republic of China by members of the Marshallese Parliament. The Chamber of Commerce wrote a letter condemning the trip which was then published by the local press. Some fear the investigation will aggravate self-censorship, which is practiced on occasion over politically sensitive issues. After broadcasting on a state-owned radio station in September, Women United Together in the Marshall Islands was later denied further air time by the government. The Marshallese people receive most of their news from the independent weekly Marshall Islands Journal and the state-run V7AB radio. The government also releases a monthly newspaper, the Marshall Islands Gazette, and broadcasts MBC TV. American broadcasts are available via satellite. Blackouts occasionally interfere with radio and television broadcasts. The internet is unrestricted, although accessed by less than 4 percent of the population. The government launched a new website in October 2006 to facilitate online communication with its citizens.

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